Genomics of Mineral Nutrient Biofortification: Calcium, Iron and Zinc

  • Owen A. Hoekenga


Dietary deficiencies affect nearly half of the people on the planet, who simply do not receive sufficient nutrition from the food they buy or grow. Inadequate calcium, iron, and zinc consumption create short and long term health problems, which in turn can magnify and stagnate national development. Dietary diversity, use of industrially fortified foods, and medical interventions are all effective solutions to this suite of related problems. However, each of these solutions requires infrastructure, economic support, and either education or access to markets, and thus are more suitable for the urban than rural poor. Biofortification, or the nutritional enhancement of staple and specialty crops, represents a low cost, sustainable, and potentially effective solution to addressing dietary deficiency and malnutrition in the rural poor. Recent progress on calcium, iron, and zinc biofortification using quantitative genetics, mutational genetics, and genetic engineering technologies will be discussed.


Quantitative Trait Locus Iron Deficiency Zinc Deficiency Quantitative Trait Locus Mapping Recombinant Inbred 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by USDA ARS. The author would like to thank Mrs. Meghan den Bakker and Ms. Ellie Taylor for their excellent work on the research farm during the writing of this review.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health, United States Department of AgricultureAgricultural Research ServiceIthacaUSA

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