Researchers from the John Innes Centre (JIC) have developed a variety of
that has high levels of iron. This new
biofortified variety could help decrease the number of people with iron
deficiency around the world.
Wheat contains iron in parts that are removed however, before it is produced
as white flour. With the use of the published wheat genome, Dr. James
Connorton and colleagues located two genes involved in iron transport. Then,
one of the genes was used to direct more iron into the endosperm, leading to
a variety that produces twice the amount of iron present in commercial
"This breakthrough means that higher levels of iron from the wheat itself
could replace added iron in everyday items such as white flour and breakfast
cereals, helping the estimated 1 billion people that suffer from iron
deficiency worldwide," said Dr. Janneke Balk, one of the researchers.