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Provitamin A Biofortification of Durum Wheat through a TILLING Approach

Department of Agriculture and Forest Sciences, University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops (CREA-CI), 71122 Foggia, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5703;
Received: 22 October 2019 / Revised: 8 November 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 14 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Plant Sciences)
Macro- and micronutrients, essential for the maintenance of human metabolism, are assimilated daily through the diet. Wheat and other major cereals are a good source of nutrients, such as carbohydrates and proteins, but cannot supply a sufficient amount of essential micronutrients, including provitamin A. As vitamin A deficiency (VAD) leads to several serious diseases throughout the world, the biofortification of a major staple crop, such as wheat, represents an effective way to preserve human health in developing countries. In the present work, a key enzyme involved in the branch of carotenoids pathway producing β-carotene, lycopene epsilon cyclase, has been targeted by a Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes (TILLING) approach in a “block strategy” perspective. The null mutant genotype showed a strong reduction in the expression of the lcyE gene and also interesting pleiotropic effects on an enzyme (β-ring hydroxylase) acting downstream in the pathway. Biochemical profiling of carotenoids in the wheat mutant lines showed an increase of roughly 75% in β-carotene in the grains of the complete mutant line compared with the control. In conclusion, we describe here the production and characterization of a new wheat line biofortified with provitamin A obtained through a nontransgenic approach, which also sheds new light on the molecular mechanism governing carotenoid biosynthesis in durum wheat. View Full-Text
Keywords: durum wheat; β-carotene; TILLING; biofortification; vitamin A deficiency durum wheat; β-carotene; TILLING; biofortification; vitamin A deficiency
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Sestili, F.; Garcia-Molina, M.D.; Gambacorta, G.; Beleggia, R.; Botticella, E.; De Vita, P.; Savatin, D.V.; Masci, S.; Lafiandra, D. Provitamin A Biofortification of Durum Wheat through a TILLING Approach. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 5703.

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