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Zn and Fe biofortification: the right chemical environment for human bioavailability

Title data

Clemens, Stephan:
Zn and Fe biofortification: the right chemical environment for human bioavailability.
In: Plant Science. Vol. 225 (2014) . - pp. 52-57.
ISSN 1873-2259
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2014.05.014

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

A considerable fraction of global disease burden and child mortality is attributed to Fe and Zn deficiencies. Biofortification, i.e. the development of plants with more bioavailable Zn and Fe, is widely seen as the most sustainable solution, provided suitable crops can be generated. In a cereal-dominated diet availability of Fe and Zn for absorption by the human gut is generally low and influenced by a highly complex chemistry. This complexity has mostly been attributed to the inhibitory effect of Fe and Zn binding by phytate, the principal phosphorus storage compound in cereal and legume seeds. However, phytate is only part of the answer to the multifaceted bioavailability question, albeit an important one. Recent analyses addressing elemental distribution and micronutrient speciation in seeds strongly suggest the existence of different Fe and Zn pools. Exploration of natural variation in maize showed partial separation of phytate levels and Fe bioavailability. Observations made with transgenic plants engineered for biofortification lend further support to this view. From a series of studies the metal chelator nicotianamine is emerging as a key molecule. Importantly, nicotianamine levels have been found to not only increase the loading of Fe and Zn into grains. Bioavailability assays indicate a strong activity of nicotianamine also as an enhancer of intestinal Fe and Zn absorption.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER123577
Keywords: Metal homeostasis; Metal speciation; Elemental mapping; Nicotianamine; Malnutrition; Intestinal absorption
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Plant Physiology > Chair Plant Physiology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Stephan Clemens
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields
Profile Fields > Advanced Fields > Molecular Biosciences
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Food and Health Sciences
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Plant Physiology
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2015 08:08
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2015 09:12
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/9287