Biotech Updates

UA Scientists Receive Grant to Solve Iron Deficiency

June 13, 2008

A group of scientists from the University of Adelaide (UA), led by Alex Johnson, was awarded an almost $300,000 grant to work with the Bill Gates-funded HarvestPlus Challenge Program to increase iron content in rice and other cereal grains. The team will focus on the transport of iron from leaves to seeds. "We know of several proteins that move iron around in a plant so it is a matter of increasing the flow of iron into a seed tissue called endosperm, which survives the milling and polishing process," Johnson says.

Around two billion people suffer from iron deficiency. Iron-rich cereals will greatly benefit developing countries, since most cannot afford fortification of processed products such as flour.

The press release is available at