Enriching rice with Zn and Fe while minimizing Cd risk uri icon

abstract

  • Enriching iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) content in rice grains, while minimizing cadmium (Cd) levels, is important for human health and nutrition. Natural genetic variation in rice grain Zn enables Zn-biofortification through conventional breeding, but limited natural Fe variation has led to a need for genetic modification approaches, including over-expressing genes responsible for Fe storage, chelators, and transporters. Generally, Cd uptake and allocation is associated with divalent metal cations (including Fe and Zn) transporters, but the details of this process are still unknown in rice. In addition to genetic variation, metal uptake is sometimes limited by its bioavailability in the soil. The availability of Fe, Zn, and Cd for plant uptake varies widely depending on soil redox potential. The typical practice of flooding rice increases Fe while decreasing Zn and Cd availability. On the other hand, moderate soil drying improves Zn uptake but also increases Cd and decreases Fe uptake. Use of Zn- or Fe-containing fertilizers complements breeding efforts by providing sufficient metals for plant uptake. In addition, the timing of nitrogen fertilization has also been shown to affect metal accumulation in grains.The purpose of this mini-review is to identify knowledge gaps and prioritize strategies for improving the nutritional value and safety of rice.
  • Review

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015
  • 2015