The diet in many developing countries is lacking zinc, but researchers have just solved the riddle of how to get more zinc into crop seeds. The discovery has been published in Nature Plants, and the research was led by University of Copenhagen.

A milestone has been reached in the research of zinc loading in crop seeds with large potential benefits to people in the developing world. A team of scientists, led by Professor Michael Broberg Palmgren from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at University of Copenhagen, has just published an article about their findings in Nature Plants, which might well lead the way to growing crops with more zinc accumulated in the seeds.

Michael Broberg Palmgren explains about the breakthrough: “We have identified the specific system of transport in the plant cells responsible for delivering zinc into the seeds. That knowledge unveils the path to breeding plants with enhanced activity of this particular transport system resulting in more zinc rich seeds.”

This until now seemingly unnoticed mechanism can improve the nutritional value of a large part of the human diet, since biologists have yet to discover any type of crop that does not have a variant of these so-called zinc pumps, Michael Broberg Palmgren explains. Meaning, that if you can breed a variant of rye with enhanced zinc loading in the seeds, in all likelihood it will be possible to do the same with wheat, barley, rice and so on.
Read more

Source: University of Copenhagen, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

    11-04-2016 00:00