Genomic Advances in Biofortification of Iron and Zinc in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

Bhaswati Chakraborty

Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, School of Agriculture, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab (144411), India.

Shiv Prakash Shrivastav *

Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, School of Agriculture, Lovely Professional University, Phagwara, Punjab (144411), India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Majority of population that depend on wheat are found to be deficient in iron and zinc. About 20% of calories worldwide are derived from wheat. Milling of wheat reduces the bioavaibility of Fe and Zn in wheat grains. Micronutrient deficiency is the main cause of malnutrition worldwide and hidden hunger in underdeveloped countries. To overcome this problem it becomes necessary to develop varieties that are rich in iron and zinc content. Biofortification gets around these issues by enhancing the micronutrient content of wheat. The genetic approaches of biofortification particularly the non-conventional methods have proved to be the most efficient ones. These method includes QTL mapping approach, GWAS and transgenics. Although conventional methods for a long time has been used for developing varieties of wheat rich in Fe and Zn but conventional breeding for certain traits may be inconvenient and time-consuming and are prone to errors due to their reliance on traditional phenotyping or visual assessments. Several research have been undertaken to map QTLs of Fe and Zn concentration in wheat grains and have been used in elite genetic backgrounds to improve micronutrient content. Genomic studies revealed through GWAS exhibit high QTL resolution and allele coverage, which can be used for improvement of Fe and Zn content in wheat. Genetic engineering techniques or transgenics approaches allows genetic alteration of crops to improve the nutritional quality of wheat. Genomic approach of biofortification of wheat has proved to be the most efficient methods for increasing iron and zinc content in the crop.

Keywords: Wheat, iron, zinc, biofortification, QTL mapping, GWAS, transgenics

How to Cite

Chakraborty, B., & Shrivastav , S. P. (2024). Genomic Advances in Biofortification of Iron and Zinc in Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Journal of Advances in Biology & Biotechnology, 27(6), 9–23.


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