Transport and homeostasis of zinc for biofortification

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office

Abstract

Almost one third of the world’s population is thought to be zinc deficient and children are particularly sensitive to deficiency. Some major health problems associated with zinc deficiency include immune system suppression and increased susceptibility to deadly infectious diseases, delays in physical development and impairments in both physical and mental development. One strategy to combat dietary zinc deficiency is biofortification of cereal grains through enhanced zinc accumulation. The endosperm storage tissue dominates the grain and this project aims to increase the levels of zinc in this tissue. Transcriptomics data from cereals suggests that Metal Tolerance Proteins (MTPs) might be responsible for transition metal transport in the grain. The MTPs are members of the large Cation Diffusion Facilitator (CDF) family of transporters that are ubiquitous to all forms of life and which can be subdivide into three clades according to the chief metal transported: zinc, manganese or iron/zinc. A barley CDF transporter, HvMTP1 has been identified that localizes to the plant vacuolar membrane and can functionally complement a yeast zinc transporter-deficient mutant. Barley (cv Golden Promise) has been transformed using HvMTP1 with expression driven by grain-specific promoters that target different parts of the seed, either the endosperm or the aleurone. Several different barley lines have been generated and these are being grown in glasshouse pot experiments to measure if the transformation has resulted in increasing the grain zinc content. The grain will also be analysed to check if the content of other transition metals is changed when compared with control plants.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The amounts of zinc stored in barley grains have been increased using specialised metal transporter proteins. The proteins are usually present in cereals and increasing their activity in particular parts of the cereal grain can increase the amonts of zinc accumulated in the seed. This research has important consequences the natural zinc fortication of our diet. Zinc that is stored in the husk of the grain can be re-distributed into other parts of the grain.
Exploitation Route This research will help cereal breeders and growers to produce crops with enriched amounts of the important metal, zinc. The increased amounts of zinc in the grain appear to be associated with increased amounts of phytate (phosphorus) and this is important because the bioavailability of dietary zinc is changed. For breeding crops with increased amounts of zinc it will be important to consider not only increased amounts of zinc in grain crops, but also changes in phytate levels.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare

 
Description Cereals are being used to identify how vacuolar metal transporters can be used to increase the amounts of zinc stored in the grain. Modern cereal grains contain naturally low amounts of dietary zinc and increasing the stores of this metal in the seed endopserm can potentially boost human intake. Adequate levels of zinc in our diet is important for human health, particulary the immune system. Specific transporters for zinc accumulation in plant cell vacuoles have been identified and these can be used to enrich the zinc content of plant-based foods. The discovery that increased zinc accumulation in the seed endosperm can occur by remobilising zinc from other parts of the grain is important. Before consumption by humans the milling and processing of cereal grain often removes the aleurone and embryo, therefore breeding can select for increased amounts of zinc in the endosperm. Understanding the homeostatic regulation of zinc distribution in the plant and the grain are important for achieving increases in dietary zinc.
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description CEPAMS Symposium Shanghai 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact CEPAMS Symposium Shanghai 2016 Friday 18th March
Editing Long Distance Transport and Storage to Optimize the Site of Nitrogen Assimilation in Drought and Salt-stress
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description International Symposium on Plant Membrane Biology, Annapolis MD, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International Symposium on Plant Membrane Biology, Annapolis MD, 2016
Thursday 9th June 2016 S16 Future Perspectives
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited Seminar at Bristol University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited seminar speaker at Bristol University - title 'The Plant Lytic Vacuole: Space-Filler, Garbage Bag, or Something More Interesting?'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited Seminar at SIPPE Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 4th November 2016 in Shanghai 15:00
Invited Seminar at SIPPE Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited seminar speaker Padua Italy (12th January 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on the role of the plant lytic vacuole.
Title: Lytic Vacuole: Space-Filler, Garbage Bag, or Something More Interesting?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited seminar speaker Plant Sciences Univiersity of Oxford, UK (January 28 th 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited Departmental seminar speaker. Topic was the role of the lytic vacuole.
Title: The Plant Lytic Vacuole: Space-Filler, Garbage Bag, or Something More Interesting?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited speaker at SEB Plant Transport Group Meeting Glasgow 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation on the functional role of the vacuole proton pumping pyrophosphatase.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Invited speaker at York University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker to York University: Plant Biology Seminar - The Plant Lytic Vacuole: Space-Filler, Garbage Bag, or Something More Interesting?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited speaker: Gordon Research Conference on Organellar Channels and Transporters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker: Gordon Research Conference on Organellar Channels and Transporters Gordon Research Conference on Organellar Channels and Transporters
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Keynote Speech: Plants and Human Health at the Wellcome Trust China-UK Life Science Summit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote Speech: Plants and Human Health at the Wellcome Trust China-UK Life Science Summit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Member of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Member of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Member of the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Member of the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health - quarterly meetings are held
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Member of the interviewing panel for Herchel Smith Professorship of Biochemistry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Member of the interviewing panel for Herchel Smith Professorship of Biochemistry position - University of Cambridge
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Membership of Scientific Advisory Committee to the Plant Energy Biology ARC Centre of Excellence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Membership of Scientific Advisory Committee to the Plant Energy Biology ARC Centre of Excellence. An Australian National Centre.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Opening address at Breeders Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Opening address at Breeders Day at the John Innes Centre
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Panel Meeting of Severo Ochoa and Maria de Maeztu Committee - Madrid, Spain 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Panel Meeting of Severo Ochoa and Maria de Maeztu Committee - Madrid, Spain
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Royal Society fact finding visit to Beijing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Royal Society fact finding visit to Beijing, 22 to 26 October for Royal Society's genetic technologies programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Salt & Water Stress in Plants - Gordon conference presentation Hong Kong 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Report research to the scientific community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.grc.org/programs.aspx?year=2012&program=salt
 
Description Scientific Advisory Board Member for Max PIanck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm, Germany 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific Advisory Board Meeting for Max PIanck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description University of Geneva - PhD Retreat 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact University of Geneva - PhD Retreat, participation in a debate: " Technological advances - A new chance for changing public perception on GMOs". Also speaker title: 'The plant lytic vacuole: space-filler, garbage bag, or something more interesting'. A two-day retreat for PhD students in molecular plant sciences at universities in French-speaking Switzerland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description World Life Science Conference (Sustainable Agriculture Session), Beijing, 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact World Life Science Conference (Sustainable Agriculture Session), Beijing, 2016
3rd November 2016, Session 48 Sustainable Agriculture - Membrane Transporters and Nutrition - from crops to people
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016