New Mexico Consortium Biolab Researcher Richard Sayre, founder of start-up company Pebble Labs Inc., recently published his work titled Provitamin A biofortification of cassava enhances shelf life but reduces dry matter content of storage roots due to altered carbon partitioning into starch. This research is also featured on the cover page of the Plant Biotechnology Journal.
Cassava (Manihot esculento Crantz) is an important subsistence crop in sub-Saharan Africa, but unfortunately this calorie rich root crop is deficient in micronutrients essential to health, including provitamin A β-carotine. In this study, researchers enhanced β-carotine concentrations in cassava storage roots by co-expression of transgenes for deoxy‐d‐xylulose‐5‐phosphate synthase (DXS) and bacterial phytoene synthase (crtB), mediated by the patatin‐type 1 promoter.
The results of the roots harvested from field grown plants showed a 20-fold increase when compared to regular nontransgenic cassava roots.
To read more about the results of this research:
Beyene, G., Solomon, F.R., Chauhan, R.D., Gaitan-Solis, E., Narayanan, N., Gehan, J., Siritunga, D., Stevens, R.L., Jifon, J., Van Eck, J., Linsler, E., Gehan, M., Ilyas, M., Fregene, M., Sayre, R.T., Anderson, P., Taylor, N.J. and Cahoon, E.B. (2018) Provitamin A biofortification of cassava enhances shelf life but reduces dry matter content of storage roots due to altered carbon partitioning into starch. Plant Biotechnol. J.