Enhancing Nutritional Quality in Crops via Genomics Approaches
Micronutrient malnutrition—also known as hidden hunger—is a growing public health concern that affects especially women and children in the developing world. Worldwide, at least 2 billion people suffer from vitamin A, iron, and zinc deficiencies. Here we review recent advances in the application of genomic approaches for biofortification of staple crops to enhance their nutritional quality and thus reduce ‘hidden hunger’. The application of genomic tools such as marker-assisted selection in conventional breeding or genetic modification offers sustainable and cost-effective ways to provide essential micronutrients (here provitamin A or iron) to people in developing countries. To maximize the benefits of genomic approaches for biofortification, we need to extend our understanding of the genetic control mechanisms and relative contribution from different rate-limiting steps for both provitamin A and iron accumulation in edible plant parts.
Andersson, M.S.; Pfeiffer, W.H.; Tohme, J. Enhancing Nutritional Quality in Crops via Genomics Approaches. In: Tuberosa, R; Graner, A; Frison, E. (Eds). Genomics of Plant Genetic Resources. Volume 2. Crop productivity, food security and nutritional quality. Springer Netherlands, (2014) 417-429. ISBN 978-94-007-7575-6 [DOI: 10.107/978-94-007-7575-6_17]