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Genetic Engineering for Global Food Security: Photosynthesis and Biofortification

Genetics, Genomics and Breeding, NIAB EMR, East Malling, Kent ME19 6BJ, UK
Plants 2019, 8(12), 586; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120586
Received: 19 November 2019 / Revised: 4 December 2019 / Accepted: 5 December 2019 / Published: 9 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Plant Physiology and Metabolism)
Increasing demands for food and resources are challenging existing markets, driving a need to continually investigate and establish crop varieties with improved yields and health benefits. By the later part of the century, current estimates indicate that a >50% increase in the yield of most of the important food crops including wheat, rice and barley will be needed to maintain food supplies and improve nutritional quality to tackle what has become known as ‘hidden hunger’. Improving the nutritional quality of crops has become a target for providing the micronutrients required in remote communities where dietary variation is often limited. A number of methods to achieve this have been investigated over recent years, from improving photosynthesis through genetic engineering, to breeding new higher yielding varieties. Recent research has shown that growing plants under elevated [CO2] can lead to an increase in Vitamin C due to changes in gene expression, demonstrating one potential route for plant biofortification. In this review, we discuss the current research being undertaken to improve photosynthesis and biofortify key crops to secure future food supplies and the potential links between improved photosynthesis and nutritional quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: photosynthesis; biofortification; yield; nutrition photosynthesis; biofortification; yield; nutrition
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Simkin, A.J. Genetic Engineering for Global Food Security: Photosynthesis and Biofortification. Plants 2019, 8, 586.

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