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Co-expression of Soybean Genes Leads to Improved Folate Content in Maize and Wheat
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: February 27, 2019 07:03AM

Folate is a form of B-vitamin necessary for the production of red and white
blood cells in the bone marrow, convert carbohydrates into energy, and other
functions. Low intake of folate in the body may lead to serious disorders.
To improve human folate status, it has been recommended to enhance the
folate content of food crops, which can be achieved through metabolic
engineering. To do this, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences scientists
cloned two GmGCHI (GTP cyclohydrolase I) genes (Gm8gGCHI and Gm3gGCHI) and
one GmADCS (aminodeoxychorismate synthase) gene from soybean, which are
responsible for synthesizing the folate precursors pterin and
p-aminobenzoate, respectively.

They tested the functions of the genes first in transgenic Arabidopsis
plants and found that Gm8gGCHI increased pterin and folate production more
than Gm3gGCHI did. Then they co-expressed Gm8gGCHI and GmADCS in maize and
wheat to boost their folate content. Results showed a significant increase
in the folate levels in transgenic maize and wheat grains, implying that the
two-gene coexpression strategy could be used to enhance the folate levels in
the two important stable food crops.


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