Biotech Updates

Overexpression of AtGchI Increases Folate Precursors in Common Bean Seeds

May 4, 2016

Folate biofortification of major crops is a promising method to battle vitamin deficiency. Naty G. Ramírez Rivera and her team from Escuela de Ingeniería y Ciencias in Mexico aimed to increase folate, also known as vitamin B9, levels in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) by engineering the pathway of pteridine, a folate precursor.

The GTP cyclohydrolase I gene (AtGchI) from Arabidopsis thaliana was isolated and expressed in three common bean cultivars. Seed-specific overexpression of AtGCHI caused significant enhancement of pteridines in the transgenic lines. The pteridine increase resulted in higher folate levels in raw seeds. The overexpression also triggered an increase in PABA levels, another folate precursor. This was probably caused by a separate, still obscure mechanism.

For more information on the study, read the full article on Plant Biotechnology Journal.