Engineering Rice for High Beta-Carotene, Vitamin E and Enhanced Fe and Zn Bioavailability
Although rice is a primary source of food for much of the world’s population, it is a poor source of many essential micronutrients, as well as protein. As a result, widespread reliance on rice is the primary cause of micronutrient malnutrition throughout much of the developing world. Dr. Beyer is leading an international, collaborative effort called the ProVitaMinRice Consortium. The consortium's members are developing new varieties of rice with increased levels or bioavailability of pro-vitamin A, vitamin E, iron, and zinc as well improved protein quality and content. As their platform, the consortium's researchers are using Golden Rice, which has been genetically engineered to produce and accumulate pro-vitamin A in the grain, and are working with novel transgene-based technologies to enhance the availability of the target nutrients.