Expression of Phytase Gene in Wheat Endosperm Increases Availability of Iron and Zinc
Phytate is a major component of wheat seeds which chelates metal ions, thus,
reducing the nutritional value of wheat grains. Transgenic plants expressing
heterologous phytase are expected to have enhanced degradation of phytic
acid and are hypothesized to have increased mineral nutrients in their
Nabeela Abid, from the Forman Christian College in Pakistan, together with a
team of researchers developed transgenic wheat expressing the Aspergillus
(phyA) in its endosperm. The transgenic lines exhibited 18-99 % increase in
phytase activity and as high as 76% reduction of phytic acid in seeds, with
the lowest phytic acid content observed in chapatti. Analysis revealed a
two-fold to nine-fold increase in expression as compared to the controls.
There was no significant difference in nutrient composition between
transgenic and non-transgenic seeds. However, assays for iron and zinc in
the dough and bread made from the transgenic lines revealed a significant
increase in iron and zinc contents.
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