Review: genetically modified plants for the promotion of human health
Plants are attractive biological resources because of their ability to produce a huge variety of chemical compounds, and the familiarity of production in even the most rural settings. Genetic engineering gives plants additional characteristics and value for cultivation and post-harvest. Genetically modified (GM) plants of the “first generation” were conferred with traits beneficial to producers, whereas GM plants in subsequent “generations” are intended to provide beneficial traits for consumers. Golden Rice is a promising example of a GM plant in the second generation, and has overcome a number of obstacles for practical use. Furthermore, consumer-acceptable plants with health-promoting properties that are genetically modified using native genes are being developed. The emerging technology of metabolomics will also support the commercial realization of GM plants by providing comprehensive analyzes of plant biochemical components.
KeywordsCarotenoids Flavonoids Genetically modified plants Golden Rice Vitamin A
The authors’ original study was supported in part by grants-in-aid for scientific research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.
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