Biofortification Gets the Attention of Crop Researchers
What is Biofortification? This term is used to indicate a category of hybrids or varieties with genetic characteristics that enhance the nutritional value of the grain.

The new interest in breeding for enhanced nutrition in crops is fueling the attention of crop researchers. The American Society of Agronomy is one of the largest scientific organizations in the U.S.  Its membership includes scientists with specific interests and expertise in all the fields of agriculture.  Within the organization there are as many Divisions as there are scientific fields of endeavors related to agriculture.  One of the important Divisions is Crop Science, which covers all aspects related to crops.  Plant breeders are the main membership in this Division.

This year, two scientific Divisions will organize symposiums. One includes crop breeding for bio-fortification, effect of agronomic factors on nutrient content, impact of environmental factors on biofortification, and development of molecular breeding for fortification.  The other Division is organizing a symposium on genome editing for crop improvement and genome selection for accelerating genetic gains.

Basically what is happening is a retooling of plant breeding to use new technologies to develop crops with improved productivity and to include traits of importance nutritionally.  These new crop selections have the potential of becoming an important part of the food chain in the future.  This is all in response to the increased awareness by consumers of the importance of food with better nutritional value.