Indian Society of Genetics & Plant Breeding

Biofortification of maize: An Indian perspective

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Micronutrient malnutrition particularly prevalent in resource
poor families in the developing world has emerged as a
major health challenge. Billions of people worldwide suffer
from impaired growth and development owing to
insufficient supply of essential amino acids, vitamins and
minerals leading to significant economic losses. India is
home to a large number of undernourished people
warranting immediate interventions. Maize is a staple crop
with diverse end uses; thus micronutrient enriched maize
holds immense promise for sustainable and cost-effective
solutions to overcome malnutrition. We present here a
review on status, constraints and opportunities in
developing biofortified maize cultivars with enhanced
protein quality, provitamin A, and kernel -Fe and -Zn. Quality
protein maize possessing higher lysine and tryptophan is
a classical example of how its successful adoption has
resulted in significantly reducing malnutrition. Novel
genetic variants of crtRB1 and lcyE genes have opened up
new avenues for food-based solution to vitamin A
deficiency. Availability of variation for kernel -Fe and -Zn
and the possibility for manipulation of anti-nutritional- and
promoting- factors offer distinct opportunity to deliver
bioavailable minerals through diet. Development of multinutrient
rich maize would help in achieving nutritional
security in a more holistic way. Possible interventions to
overcome the challenges of slow dissemination of
biofortified crops have also been discussed.

Keywords: Micronutrient malnutrition, maize, QPM, provitamin A, iron, zinc, biofortification


Year: 2015
Volume: 75
Issue: 1
Article DOI: 10.5958/0975-6906.2015.00001.2
Print ISSN: 0019-5200
Online ISSN: 0975-6906


Firoz Hossain and Vignesh Muthusamy info_circle

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