Indian scientists develop hybrid corn variety high in vitamin A

HarvestPlus orange maize web

Researchers at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) have developed a maize variety which is rich in both Vitamin A and essential amino acids through the process of plant breeding. … The hybrid varieties of maize currently grown in India, though rich in essential amino acids – lysine and tryptophan – are poor in vitamin A.

Scientists have developed a new hybrid variety of maize by crossing. It contains natural variations of three genes – beta-Carotene Hydroxylase, Lycopene-eta-Cyclase and Opaque2 – required for production of high amount of vitamin A and the two essential amino acids. The new hybrids, thus produced, have 4.5 folds more vitamin A content and similar amounts of lysine and tryptophan as earlier varieties.

In addition, the grain yield of new hybrids has been found to be similar to existing varieties, as evaluated by growing both varieties at two different locations in India. Researchers believe that bio-fortified high-yielding maize hybrid could help address micronutrient malnutrition.

Editor’s note: Read full study

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Read full, original post: Scientists develop bio-fortified maize to address ‘hidden hunger’

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