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Speciation and accumulation of Zn in sweetcorn kernels for genetic and agronomic biofortification programs

Cheah, Z. X., Kopittke, P. M., Harper, S. M., Meyer, G., O’Hare, T. J. and Bell, M. J. (2019) Speciation and accumulation of Zn in sweetcorn kernels for genetic and agronomic biofortification programs. Planta . ISSN 1432-2048

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Article Link(s): https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-019-03162-x

Abstract

In sweetcorn (Zea mays L.), embryo Zn is accumulated mainly as Zn-phytate, whereas endosperm Zn is complexed with a N- or S-containing ligand.
Understanding the speciation of Zn in crop plants helps improve the effectiveness of biofortification efforts. Kernels of four sweetcorn (Zea mays L.) varieties were analysed for Zn concentration and content. We also assessed the speciation of the Zn in the embryo, endosperm, and pericarp in situ using synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The majority of the Zn was in the endosperm and pericarp (72%), with the embryo contributing 28%. Approximately 79% of the Zn in the embryo accumulated as Zn-phytate, whereas in the endosperm most of the Zn was complexed with a N- or S-containing ligand, possibly as Zn-histidine and Zn-cysteine. This suggests that whilst the Zn in the endosperm and pericarp is likely to be bioavailable for humans, the Zn in the embryo is of low bioavailability. This study highlights the importance of targeting the endosperm of sweetcorn kernels as the tissue for increasing bioavailable Zn concentration.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Bioavailability Embryo Endosperm Nutrient Phytate Synchrotron-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) Zea mays Zinc
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural chemistry. Agricultural chemicals
Plant culture > Food crops
Plant culture > Vegetables
Deposited On:20 May 2019 00:31
Last Modified:20 May 2019 00:31

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