Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Research’ Category

Synchrotron science finds more nutrients in biofortified rice

Iron often binds to phytic acid in the bran and germ layers of conventional rice grain, resulting in the formation of insoluble complexes that are not bioavailable in human diets. Here we report on the use of synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) and high resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) to map the distribution of Fe, zinc (Zn), phosphorus (P) and other elements in conventional and biofortified rice. The results reveal large increases in the amounts of Fe and Zn in biofortified rice grain and detect novel “hotspots” of Fe in the subaleurone and endosperm layers.

To learn more read the full paper here:

Kyriacou B, Moore KL, Paterson D, de Jonge MD, Howard DL, Stangoulis J, Tester M, Lombi E, Johnson AAT (2014) Localization of iron in rice grain using synchrotron X-ray fluorescence microscopy and high resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry. Journal of Cereal Science 59: 173-180. PDF

Biofortified rice hits targets in the field

Conventional varieties of rice have very low concentrations of Fe and Zn in polished grain. Nutritional studies tell us that biofortified rice should have much higher concentrations – approximately 13 ppm Fe and 28 ppm Zn – to provide sufficient levels of these essential micronutrients in human diets. Here we report on field-grown biofortified rice, evaluated in the Philippines and Colombia, with 15 ppm Fe and 46 ppm Zn in polished grain and no yield penalty nor uptake of harmful heavy metals. Furthermore, Fe from biofortified rice was more bioavailable than Fe from conventional rice as indicated by the Caco-2 cell assay.


To learn more read the full paper here:

Trijatmiko KR, Dueñas C, Tsakirpaloglou N, Torrizo L, Arines FM, Adeva C, Balindong J, Oliva N, Sapasap MV, Borrero J, Rey J, Francisco P, Nelson A, Nakanishi H, Lombi E, Tako E, Glahn RP, Stangoulis J, Chadha-Mohanty P, Johnson AAT, Tohme J, Barry G, Slamet-Loedin IH (2016) Biofortified indica rice attains iron and zinc nutrition dietary targets in the field. Nature Scientific Reports 6: 19792. PDF

Wheat has the most NAS genes

Nicotianamine synthase (NAS) genes control the production of nicotianamine, a non-protein amino acid that chelates divalent metal cations such Fe2+ and facilitates their transport in plant tissues. In graminaceous plants, a significant...

Read more

New explanations for yield variation in biofortified rice

When we cross biofortified rice to conventional rice we often see large yield variation in the resulting progeny. What accounts for this variation? In this study we used a distance-based linear...

Read more