Variability in iron, zinc, phytic acid and protein content in pre‑breeding wheat germplasm under diferent water regimes

Published in Plant Growth Regulation, 2022

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Abstract: More than one-third of the global population sufers from iron and zinc defciency, developing anaemia like diseases mostly in the developing countries. Therefore, the current study focuses on the investigation of variability and bioavailability of micronutrients such as iron and zinc in bread wheat mediated by lower levels of phytic acid which is often categorised as an antinutritional compound. Phytic acid in cereals acts as an chelator of major micronutrients such as iron and zinc, thus lowering their bioavailability both in humans and animals. In addition, drought is a major component afecting the micronutrient accumulation in wheat kernels. Therefore, a pre-breeding wheat germplasm set comprising 137 genotypes was grown under irrigated and restricted irrigated conditions for 2 years. This germplasm set was used to assess the variability for iron, zinc and phytic acid content in the wheat kernels. Mean iron and zinc content was 45.83 and 49.43 ppm under irrigated conditions, whereas it was 40.53 and 49.62 ppm under restricted irrigated conditions. Afterward, the molar ratios of phytate with iron and zinc were calculated to predict their bioavailability. Based on the daily recommended values, promising genotypes were shortlisted with low phytic acid combined with high iron and zinc content. These promising genotypes will be further used in wheat breeding programme to breed biofortifed wheat cultivars with higher micronutrient and reduced phytic acid concentration combined with enchanted abiotic stress tolerance which can potentially help in alleviating the hidden hunger under changing climatic conditions.

Recommended citation: Sharma, H., Singh, S., Shamshad, M.  et al. (2022) Variability in iron, zinc, phytic acid and protein content in pre-breeding wheat germplasm under different water regimes.Plant Growth Regul.