Biofortification is the process of improving the bioavailability of essential nutrients in food crops either through conventional breeding or modern biotechnology techniques. Rice is one of the most demanding staple foods worldwide. Most global population live on a diet based on rice as the main carbohydrate source that serve as suitable target for biofortification. In general, polished grain or white rice contains nutritionally insufficient concentration of iron (Fe) to meet the daily requirements in diets. Therefore, iron biofortification in rice offers an inexpensive and sustainable solution to mitigate iron deficiency. However, understanding on the mechanism and genes involved in iron uptake in rice is a prerequisite for successful iron biofortification. In this chapter, the overview of iron uptake strategies in plants and as well as different iron-biofortified approaches used in rice will be outlined. Then, the challenges and future prospects of rice iron biofortification to improve global human health will also be discussed.
Part of the book: Rice Crop
Current research is focusing on selecting potential genes that can alleviate stress and produce disease-tolerant crop variety. The novel paradigm is to investigate the potential of thiamine as a crop protection molecule in plants. Thiamine or vitamin B1 is important for primary metabolism for all living organisms. The active form, thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), is a cofactor for the enzymes involved in the synthesis of amino acids, tricarboxylic acid cycle and pentose phosphate pathway. Recently, thiamine is shown to have a role in the processes underlying protection of plants against biotic and abiotic stresses. The aim of this chapter is to review the role of thiamine in plant growth and disease protection and also to highlight that TPP and its intermediates are involved in management of stress. The perspectives on its potential for manipulating the biosynthesis pathway in crop improvement will also be discussed.
Part of the book: B Group Vitamins