Transgenic expression of phytase in wheat endosperm increases bioavailability of iron and zinc in grains

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  • Nabeela Abid, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University)
  • ,
  • Asia Khatoon, National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE)
  • ,
  • Asma Maqbool, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University)
  • ,
  • Muhammad Irfan, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University)
  • ,
  • Aftab Bashir, National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE)
  • ,
  • Irsa Asif, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University)
  • ,
  • Muhammad Shahid, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University)
  • ,
  • Asma Saeed, PCSIR Laboratories
  • ,
  • Henrik Brinch-Pedersen
  • Kauser A. Malik, Forman Christian College (A Chartered University)

Phytate is a major constituent of wheat seeds and chelates metal ions, thus reducing their bioavailability and so the nutritional value of grains. Transgenic plants expressing heterologous phytase are expected to enhance degradation of phytic acid stored in seeds and are proposed to increase the in vitro bioavailability of mineral nutrients. Wheat transgenic plants expressing Aspergillus japonicus phytase gene (phyA) in wheat endosperm were developed till T3 generation. The transgenic lines exhibited 18–99 % increase in phytase activity and 12–76 % reduction of phytic acid content in seeds. The minimum phytic acid content was observed in chapatti (Asian bread) as compared to flour and dough. The transcript profiling of phyA mRNA indicated twofold to ninefold higher expression as compared to non transgenic controls. There was no significant difference in grain nutrient composition of transgenic and non-transgenic seeds. In vitro bioavailability assay for iron and zinc in dough and chapatti of transgenic lines revealed a significant increase in iron and zinc contents. The development of nutritionally enhanced cereals is a step forward to combat nutrition deficiency for iron and zinc in malnourished human population, especially women and children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransgenic Research
Volume26
Issue1
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
ISSN0962-8819
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Bioavailability, Iron, Phytase, Phytic acid, Transgenic wheat, Zinc

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