Søren Borg

Associate professor

Søren Borg
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Transport, content and bioavailability of iron and zinc in wheat and barley grain

 

Dietary iron and zinc deficiency is a global problem afflicting about one third of the world’s population. This results primarily from poverty that leads a too narrow food base consisting almost exclusively of inexpensive starch crops like wheat, maize and rice, crops that have a low content of minerals in the endosperm. The strategies utilised to combat this micronutrient malnutrition such as food fortification, mineral supplements and dietary diversification are beneficial short-term solutions for effluent societies. However, in developing countries a long term, self sustainable approach would be the enrichment of iron in staple food products by traditional plant breeding, or modern genetic approaches.

 

Cisgenic ferritin wheat

To create the foundation for increasing the iron content of the wheat endosperm we have isolated and characterized the ferritin gene complement in wheat. In a cisgenic approach we have developed transgenic wheat plants that overexpress one of the wheat’s own ferritin genes in the endosperm and thereby increase the bioavailable iron content in the edible parts.

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