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  • 1 Agricultural Biotechnology Centre H-2001 Gödöllő P.O. Box 411 Hungary
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Plants are the basis of the human nutrition and have been selected and improved to assure this purpose. Nowadays, new technologies such as genetic-, metabolic engineering and genomics approaches allow further improvement of plants. The nutritional quality of a crop is not only dependent on its energy supply in the form of sugars/starch, but also on the amino acid composition of its storage proteins. Potato, the most important non-cereal food crop, is deficient in the sulphur containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine. The manipulation of the targeted amino acid biosynthesis can be a way to circumvent this problem. Cysteine is synthesised from O -acetyl-L-serine formed by serine acetyltransferase (SAT). The main results and some unpublished ones are summarised here. They present the key role of SAT enzyme in the biosynthesis of cysteine and the biotechnological approaches of nutritive value improvement through elevation of cysteine content.

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