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Breeding For Provitamin A Biofortification Of Maize (Zea Mays L.)

Muhammad Amir Maqbool, Muhammad Aslam, Abdurahman Beshir, Muhammad Sarwar Khan
Published 2018 · Biology
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Vitamin A deficiency is widely prevailing in children and women of developing countries. Deficiency of vitamin A causes night blindness, growth retardation, xerophthalmia and increases the susceptibility against epidemic diseases. Among different interventions of overcoming malnutrition, biofortification is the most acceptable and preferred intervention among researchers, growers and consumers. Maize is grown and consumed in those regions where vitamin A deficiency is most prevalent; thus, targeting this crop for provitamin A biofortification is the most appropriate solution. Different breeding strategies including diversity analysis, introduction and stability analysis of exotic germplasm, hybridization, heterosis breeding, mutagenesis and marker‐assisted selection are practised for exploring maize germplasm and development of provitamin A‐enriched cultivars. Genome‐wide association selection and development of transgenic maize genotypes are also being practised, whereas RNA interference and genome editing tools could also be used as potential strategies for provitamin A biofortification of maize genotypes. The use of these breeding strategies for provitamin A biofortification of maize is comprehensively reviewed to provide a working outline for maize breeders.
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