Molecular Breeding for Nutritionally Enriched Maize: Status and Prospects uri icon

abstract

  • Maize is a major source of food security and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Latin America, and the Caribbean, and is among the top three cereal crops in Asia. Yet, maize is deficient in certain essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Biofortified maize cultivars enriched with essential minerals and vitamins could be particularly impactful in rural areas with limited access to diversified diet, dietary supplements, and fortified foods. Significant progress has been made in developing, testing, and deploying maize cultivars biofortified with quality protein maize (QPM), provitamin A, and kernel zinc. In this review, we outline the status and prospects of developing nutritionally enriched maize by successfully harnessing conventional and molecular marker-assisted breeding, highlighting the need for intensification of efforts to create greater impacts on malnutrition in maize-consuming populations, especially in the low- and middle-income countries. Molecular marker-assisted selection methods are particularly useful for improving nutritional traits since conventional breeding methods are relatively constrained by the cost and throughput of nutritional trait phenotyping.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020