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
The human population has reached 7 billion by 2015 and is estimated to exceed 10 billion by the end of 2050. As such, crops which are the main food source must be produced at a higher pace in order to cater in tandem with the food demand. In the past, traditional plant breeders practice classical breeding techniques to propagate plants with desirable traits. However, traditional breeding technique lies in that only individuals of the same or closely related species can be crossbred. Moreover, traditional breeders will not be able to obtain traits which are not inherent within the gene pool of their target plants through classical breeding. With recent advancements in the field of genetic engineering, it is now possible to insert beneficial genes from a completely different species or even kingdom into a target plant, yielding transgenic plants with multiple ideal traits. To develop a transgenic plant, parameters such as vector constructions, transformation methods, transgene integration, and inheritance of transgene need to be carefully considered to ensure the success of the transformation event. Hence, this chapter aimed to provide an overview of transgenic plants’ development, its advantages and disadvantages, as well as its application for the betterment of mankind.
Part of the book: New Visions in Plant Science