Molecular Strategies for Improving Mineral Density and Bioavailability in Rice

  • Rajinder K. Jain
  • Jitender Kumar
  • Sunita Jain
  • Vijay K. Chowdhury


Globally, micronutrient malnutrition has become a major health problem affecting over three billion people. Of the various micronutrients, problems (anemia, mental retardation, stunted growth, decreased immune function, and increased mortality) resulting from iron and zinc deficiencies are most prevalent and devastating in the developing countries. Rice serves as a staple food for more than half of the world population, but it has insufficient levels of the key micronutrients (Fe and Zn) to meet daily dietary requirements. Biofortification, which refers to the breeding of plants/crops with high bioavailable micronutrient content using conventional breeding, genetic engineering, and molecular and genomic approaches, has the potential to provide coverage for remote rural populations, where supplementation and fortification programs may not reach, and it inherently targets the poor who consume high levels of staple food and little else. Biofortified rice can be an effective solution to combat micronutrient malnutrition in developing countries with limited resources. The facts that substantial genetic variation for Fe and Zn contents exists in rice and that traits for high nutrient content can be combined with superior agronomic characteristics and high yield have allowed many scientists to use conventional breeding approaches to develop micronutrient-rich rice genotypes. Alternatively, genomic, transformation, and molecular tools have been used to improve our understanding of factors regulating micronutrient contents/bioavailability and rapid discovery of genes involved in iron uptake and storage in target tissues and consequently to develop novel high-Fe and/or high-Zn transgenic plants in rice. At CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, we have assessed variability for iron and zinc in a collection of 220 rice genotypes and identified several iron- and zinc-rich genotypes which have been used subsequently to raise mapping population and used for identification of QTLs for minerals in brown rice. Material is being used to select mineral-rich high-yielding rice genotypes.


Phytic Acid Brown Rice Transgenic Rice Plant Rice Genotype International Rice Research Institute 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajinder K. Jain
    • 1
  • Jitender Kumar
    • 1
  • Sunita Jain
    • 2
  • Vijay K. Chowdhury
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyCCS Haryana Agricultural UniversityHisarIndia
  2. 2.Bioinformatics SectionCCS Haryana Agricultural UniversityHisarIndia

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