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Iron and protein biofortification of cassava: lessons learned

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
16041 42482 2012 8 PDF Available
Title
Iron and protein biofortification of cassava: lessons learned
Abstract

Over two hundred and fifty million Africans rely on the starchy root crop cassava (Manihot esculenta) as their primary source of calories. Cassava roots, however, have the lowest protein:energy ratio of all the world's major staple crops. Furthermore, a typical cassava-based diet provides less than 10–20% of the required amounts of iron, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin E. The BioCassava Plus program employed modern biotechnologies to improve the health of Africans through development and delivery of novel cassava germplasm with increased nutrient levels. Here we describe the development of molecular strategies and their outcomes to meet minimum daily allowances for protein and iron in cassava based diets. We demonstrate that cyanogens play a central role in cassava nitrogen metabolism and that strategies employed to increase root protein levels result in reduced cyanogen levels in roots. We also demonstrate that enhancing root iron uptake has an impact on the expression of genes that regulate iron homeostasis in multiple tissues. These observations demonstrate the complex metabolic interactions involved in enhancing targeted nutrient levels in plants and identify potential new strategies for further enhancing nutrient levels in cassava.

► Inadequate nutrition results in excess mortality and morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa. ► BioCassava Plus has developed biofortified cassava that provides complete nutrition. ► We review transgenic strategies to increase iron and protein in cassava roots.

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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 23, Issue 2, April 2012, Pages 257–264
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us