Breeding Strategies for Biofortified Staple Plant Foods to Reduce Micronutrient Malnutrition Globally

Welch, R.W. (2002) Breeding Strategies for Biofortified Staple Plant Foods to Reduce Micronutrient Malnutrition Globally. J. Nutr, 132. 495S-499S.

| Preview


i.e., resource-poor women, infants and children) globally is to enrich major staple food crops (e.g., rice, wheat, maize, beans and cassava) with micronutrients through plant-breeding strategies. These target groups are dependent on these staples for their sustenance. Available research has demonstrated that micronutrientenrichment traits are available within the genomes of these major staple food crops that could allow for substantial increases in the levels of Fe, Zn and provitamin A carotenoids (as well as other nutrients and health-promoting factors) without negatively impacting crop yield. Furthermore, Fe- and Zn-dense seeds can increase crop yields when sowed to soils deficient in these nutrients ensuring their adoption by farmers in these regions once they are developed. Importantly, micronutrient bioavailability issues must be addressed when using a plant-breeding approach to eliminating micronutrient malnutrition. The reduction of antinutrient substances that inhibit micronutrient bioavailability or the increase in substances that promote micronutrient bioavailability from staple plant foods are both options that could be pursued in breeding programs, although care needs to be taken not to compromise agronomic performance and sufficient attention paid to possible beneficial roles of compounds which reduce the bioavailability of trace minerals. The time has come to invest in agricultural technologies to find sustainable solutions to micronutrient malnutrition. Plant breeding is one such technology that should be adopted by the world’s agricultural community and that should be supported by the world’s nutrition and health communities.

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U. S. Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory, Ithaca, NY 14853
Subjects: Crop Improvement
Divisions: Other Crops
Depositing User: Sushil
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2010 07:53
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2010 07:53
Official URL:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item