खाद्य फसलों का जैवप्रबलीकरण या जैवसंवर्धन: कुपोषण दूर करने की प्रभावी रणनीति

Nutrition (protein, vitamins and minerals) deficiency is one of the most important public health issue across the globe, particularly in developing and underdeveloped countries. Nutrient deficiency can be overcome by consuming a diverse diet. The other alternatives are supplementation and fortification but these are difficult to sustain on a long-term basis and fortified food is not affordable and available to poor people.

Biofortification  is a process to improve the nutritional value of crop plants through plant breeding, agronomic and transgenic approaches. Consumption of bio-fortified staple crops will help in the alleviation of malnutrition thereby it improves the human health condition.

Presently, development of nutrient dense staple food crops is one of the prime research areas for the scientific community. Bio-fortification has been recognized as an economical and sustainable strategy that can be useful as a complementary solution to the problem of malnutrition.

Basic approaches of Biofortification

1.  Genetic Biofortification

Staple crops often exhibits genetic variation in essential nutrient contents, which enable breeders to develop nutrient dense high yielding genotypes through conventional or molecular breeding approaches.  Development of nutrient dense crops through conventional/ molecular breeding approaches is both economical and does not have any effect on consumer acceptance, unlike transgenic approaches.

The success of plant breeding through conventional approaches is depends upon availability of sufficient genetic variation and selection of desirable plants. In the absence of sufficient genetic variation in nutrient content in the germplasm, plant breeders have to search for alternative methods to improve the nutrient content of crop plants.

Transgenic approaches can be a viable option. Rapid identification and characterization of genes associated with high nutrient content is necessary to engineer plant metabolism to develop nutrient dense crops through transgenic approach.  

However, the major hurdles for transgenic approach are regulatory procedure and consumer acceptance.

2. Agronomic Biofortification

Although Biofortification through fertilizer application is simple, the application of fertilizers containing essential mineral micronutrients is complicated by several factors like method of fertilizer application, soil composition, mineral mobility in the plant etc.

Fertilizers enriched with micronutrients needs to be applied regularly during each crop season which makes it both costly as well as potentially damaging the environment.

Therefore, agronomic biofortification is applicable only to specific crops and mineral contents and cannot be applied as a common strategy to enhance nutrient status of crop plants.

Current status of biofortified crops through transgenic approach (Source: Monika Garg et al. 2018) 

Crop Trait Variety / Hybrid
Maize Phytate degradation BVLA4 30101
High lysine content Mavera™ Maize (LY038)
Soybean Oleic acid G94-1, G94-19, G16, Treus™, Plenish™ (DP305423), Vistuve Gold™ (MON87708)
Potato Amylose and amylopectin balance Starch Potato (AM 04-1020),  Amflora™ (EH 92-527-1)
Linseed/flax Essential amino acids CDC Triffid Flax (FP967)
Canola Phytate degradation Phytaseed™ Canola (MPS 961)

Current status of biofortified crops through conventional / molecular breeding (Source: Monika Garg et al. 2018)

Crop Trait Variety/Hybrid
Rice Zinc and Iron BRRIdhan 62, BRRIdhan 72, BRRIdhan 64
Iron IR68144-3B-2-2-3
Zinc Jalmagna
Wheat Zinc BHU 1, 3, 5, 6, 17, 18, NR 419, Zincol, WB2, PBW1Zn
Maize(Quality Protein Maize) Vitamin A GV662A, GV664A, GV665A, Ife maizehyb-3, Ife maizehyb-4, Sammaz 38, Sammaz 39,CSIR-CRI Honampa
Lysine and Tryptophan  CML176,  CML186, HQPM-1, HQPM-4,5,7, VivekQPM-9, FQH-4567, CML140, CML194, P70, CML16, CML165, CML142, CML14, CML150, CML170, CML18,CML149, CML17, QS-7705, GH-132-28, Obatampa, Obangaina, Susuma, BR-451, BR-473, FONAIAP, INIA, ICA, HQ-31, HQ-61, HB-Proticta, NB-Nutrinta, HQ INTA-993
Sorghum Iron ICSR14001, ICSH14002, ICSA66, ICSR196, ICSA31, ICSR94, ICSA33, IS3760, 12KNICSV (Deko)-188 12KNICSV-22 (Zabuwa)
Pearl millet Iron and Zinc Dhanashakti, Hybrid ICMH 1201 (Shakti-1201)
Lentils Iron and Zinc Barimasur-4, 5, 6, 7, 8, ILL 7723, Khajurah-1, 2, Shital, Sisir, Shekhar, Simal, L4704, Pusa Vaibhav, Alemaya, Idlib-2, 3
Cowpea Iron Pant Lobia-1, 2, 3, 4
Beans High Iron and Zinc RWR 2245, RWR 2154, MAC 42, MAC 44, CAB 2, RWV 1129, RWV 3006, RWV 3316, RWV 3317, RWV 2887
Sweet Potato Vitamin A Ejumula, Kakamega, Vita, Kabode, Naspot 12O, Naspot 13OOlympia, Twatasha, Kokota, Chiwoko, Zambezi
Cauliflower Beta-carotene Pusa Betakesari, Purple Graffiti, Orange Cheddar
Cassava Vitamin A Kindisa (TMS 2001/1661)
Tomato Anthocyanin  Sun Black, Black Galaxy
Banana Vitamin A Apantu, Bira, Pelipita, Lai, To’o
Grapes Antioxidants Pusa Navrang


Biofortification is a proven strategy to contain the malnutrition, thereby improving the nutritional status of malnourished population across the globe.

Biofortification strategies based on conventional / molecular breeding techniques, transgenic and / or the application of mineral fertilizers have a great potential to increase the nutrient density of the crop plants.

Biofortification of food crops with high iron, zinc, folate, protein, vitamin A and other nutrients play a crucial role in the nutritional security for the resource poor families.


Gopalareddy K*, Gangadhara K1, Kailash Prajapatand GP Singh

ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal-132001 (Haryana)

1ICAR- Directorate of Groundnut Research, Junagadh-362001 (Gujarat)

2ICAR- Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal-132001 (Haryana)

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