Carotenoid biofortification in crop plants: citius, altius, fortius.

Xiongjie Zheng, Giovanni Guliano, Salim Al-Babili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Carotenoids are indispensable for human health, required as precursors of vitamin A and efficient antioxidants. However, these plant pigments that play a vital role in photosynthesis are represented at insufficient levels in edible parts of several crops, which creates a need for increasing their content or optimizing their composition through biofortification. In particular, vitamin A deficiency, a severe health problem affecting the lives of millions in developing countries, has triggered the development of a series of high-provitamin A crops, including Golden Rice as the best-known example. Further carotenoid-biofortified crops have been generated by using genetic engineering approaches or through classical breeding. In this review, we depict carotenoid metabolism in plants and provide an update on the development of carotenoid-biofortified plants and their potential to meet needs and expectations. Furthermore, we discuss the possibility of using natural variation for carotenoid biofortification and the potential of gene editing tools. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Carotenoids recent advances in cell and molecular biology edited by Johannes von Lintig and Loredana Quadro.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158664
JournalBiochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular and cell biology of lipids
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 19 2020

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