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August 2009



Enhancement of Vitamin B6 Levels in Seeds through Metabolic Engineering
Meridian Institute's Food Security and Ag-Biotech News

Researchers at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in the U.S. report that they have developed genetically modified (GM) Arabidopsis thaliana plants with seeds that contain two to three times the normal level of vitamin B6. The work demonstrates that it is feasible to enhance vitamin B6 content in seeds, the researchers say.

Vitamin B6 is essential for all cellular organisms and is particularly renowned in the medical field as being involved in more bodily functions than any other single nutrient, according to the article. Two vitamin B6 biosynthetic enzymes, PDX1 and PDX2, have been identified recently, and the article says their discovery has made it possible to regulate B6 production.

The "metabolically engineered" GM plants that were developed at the Danforth Center "overexpress" one or both of these two enzymes. The research results are said to be particularly applicable for crop plants whose seeds are the major source of food or feed.

The article can be viewed online at