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Open Access Opportunities for nutritionally enhanced maize and wheat varieties to combat protein and micronutrient malnutrition

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Naturally occurring variation detected in the germplasm of maize and wheat, two of the top three cereal crops in the world, provides options for incorporating higher levels of iron, zinc, and β-carotene into these grains. In addition, quality protein maize (QPM) has been developed from naturally occurring variation; its seed contains enhanced levels of lysine and tryptophan, two essential amino acids lacking in cereals. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, along with its many partners, has identified several maize and wheat varieties with 25% to 30% higher grain iron and zinc concentrations. Wild relatives of wheat have been found to contain some of the highest iron and zinc concentrations in the grains. Although these accessions are often low yielding and have poor grain quality, backcrossing to bread wheat could result in highly nutritious cultivars. Options are now available for conventional and biotechnologyassisted improvement of the nutritional content of maize and wheat germplasm.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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