Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) houses a wide range of nutritional components such as iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), vitamins and phenolic acids, which are important for plant metabolism and human health. The bioavailability of these nutritional components is low due to their interaction with other components and low quantity in the endosperm. Biofortification is a more sustainable approach that could improve the bioavailability of essential nutritional components. Substantial progress has been made to improve nutritional quality through the application of conventional, technological and transgenic approaches. This has led to the discovery, cloning and introgression of the Gpc-B1 gene; the invention of online databases with minimally characterized biosynthetic, metabolic pathways and biological processes of wheat-related species; the establishment of genetic variation in grain Fe and Zn content and the biofortification of wheat with Zn by the HarvestPlus organization. Nonetheless, the biofortification of wheat with micronutrients and phenolic acids is still a challenge due to incomplete understanding of the wheat genome, biosynthesis and translocation of selected nutritional components into different wheat grain compartments. There is a need to integrate selected omics technologies to obtain a holistic overview and manipulate key biological processes involved in the remobilization and biosynthesis of nutritional components into desired wheat grain compartments.
Part of the book: Wheat Improvement, Management and Utilization