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Golden bananas in the field: elevated fruit pro-vitamin A from the expression of a single banana transgene

Paul, Jean-Yves and Khanna, Harjeet and Kleidon, Jennifer and Hoang, Phuong and Geijskes, Jason and Daniells, Jeff and Zaplin, Ella and Rosenberg, Yvonne and James, Anthony and Mlalazi, Bulukani and Deo, Pradeep and Arinaitwe, Geofrey and Namanya, Priver and Becker, Douglas and Tindamanyire, James and Tushemereirwe, Wilberforce and Harding, Robert and Dale, James (2016) Golden bananas in the field: elevated fruit pro-vitamin A from the expression of a single banana transgene. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 15 (4). pp. 520-532. ISSN 1467-7652

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.12650

Abstract

Vitamin A deficiency remains one of the world's major public health problems despite food fortification and supplements strategies. Biofortification of staple crops with enhanced levels of pro-vitamin A (PVA) offers a sustainable alternative strategy to both food fortification and supplementation. As a proof of concept, PVA-biofortified transgenic Cavendish bananas were generated and field trialed in Australia with the aim of achieving a target level of 20 μg/g of dry weight (dw) β-carotene equivalent (β-CE) in the fruit. Expression of a Fe'i banana-derived phytoene synthase 2a (MtPsy2a) gene resulted in the generation of lines with PVA levels exceeding the target level with one line reaching 55 μg/g dw β-CE. Expression of the maize phytoene synthase 1 (ZmPsy1) gene, used to develop “Golden Rice 2”, also resulted in increased fruit PVA levels although many lines displayed undesirable phenotypes. Constitutive expression of either transgene with the maize polyubiquitin promoter increased PVA accumulation from the earliest stage of fruit development. In contrast, PVA accumulation was restricted to the late stages of fruit development when either the banana 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase or the expansin 1 promoters were used to drive the same transgenes. Wild-type plants with the longest fruit development time had also the highest fruit PVA concentrations. The results from this study suggest that early activation of the rate-limiting enzyme in the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway, as well as extended fruit maturation time, are essential factors to achieve optimal PVA concentrations in banana fruit. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Vitamin A deficiency Uganda pro-vitamin A staple food crop banana biofortification genetic modification
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Culture of individual fruits or types of fruit > Bananas
Deposited On:23 Jan 2017 03:39
Last Modified:27 Apr 2017 05:21

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