Engineering the Provitamin A (β-Carotene) Biosynthetic Pathway into (Carotenoid-Free) Rice Endosperm

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Science  14 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5451, pp. 303-305
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5451.303

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Rice (Oryza sativa), a major staple food, is usually milled to remove the oil-rich aleurone layer that turns rancid upon storage, especially in tropical areas. The remaining edible part of rice grains, the endosperm, lacks several essential nutrients, such as provitamin A. Thus, predominant rice consumption promotes vitamin A deficiency, a serious public health problem in at least 26 countries, including highly populated areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Recombinant DNA technology was used to improve its nutritional value in this respect. A combination of transgenes enabled biosynthesis of provitamin A in the endosperm.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Present address: Agracetus Monsanto, 8520 University Green, Middleton, WI 53562, USA.

  • Present address: Paradigm Genetics, 104 Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709–4528, USA.

  • § To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: beyer{at} (P.B.) and ingo.potrykus{at}

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