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Trends Plant Sci. 2007 Dec;12(12):548-55. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Transgenic strategies for the nutritional enhancement of plants.

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  • 1Universitat de Lleida, Av. Alcalde Rovira Roure, 191, E-25198 Lleida, Spain.


The nutrients in the human diet ultimately come from plants. However, all our major food crops lack certain essential vitamins and minerals. Although a varied diet provides adequate nutrition, much of the human population, particularly in developing countries, relies on staple crops, such as rice or maize, which does not provide the full complement of essential nutrients. Malnutrition is a significant public health issue in most of the developing world. One way to address this problem is through the enhancement of staple crops to increase their essential nutrient content. Here, we review the current strategies for the biofortification of crops, including mineral fertilization and conventional breeding but focusing on transgenic approaches which offer the most rapid way to develop high-nutrient commercial cultivars.

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