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  • 1 Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee Department of Biotechnology Uttarakhand India
  • | 2 North Carolina State University Department of Crop Science Raleigh North Carolina USA
  • | 3 Kansas State University Department of Plant Pathology Manhattan Kansas USA
  • | 4 Oregon State University Department of Crop Science Corvallis Oregon USA
  • | 5 Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee Department of Water Resources Development and Management Uttarakhand India
  • | 6 Eternal University Department of Biotechnology Sirmour, Himachal Pradesh India
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Iron and zinc deficiency affects more than half of the world population due to low inherent micronutrient content of cereals and other staple foods. The micronutrient deficiency is further aggravated by poor availability of these minerals in calcareous soils and their uptake by crop plants. Series of available wheat-Aegilops addition lines were evaluated for identification of alien chromosomes carrying genes for high grain iron and zinc concentrations and release of mugineic acid(s) facilitating micronutrient uptake under their deficient conditions. Addition lines of chromosome 2Sv, 2Uv and 7Uv of Ae. peregrina, 2Sl and 7Sl of Ae. longissima and 2U of Ae. umbellulata were found to carry genes for high grain iron whereas the group 7 chromosomes had genes for higher grain zinc. Higher release of mugineic acid (MA) under iron deficient condition was observed in addition lines of chromosome 2Sv, 2Uv, 4Uv and 7Sv of Ae. peregrina, 2Sl and 6Sl of Ae. longissima and 2U and 5U of Ae. umbellulata. Higher grain and root iron concentration and MA(s) release under iron sufficient condition in the group 2 chromosome addition lines suggests that their high grain iron may be attributed to the higher uptake of the micronutrients through MA(s). These addition lines with two- to threefold high grain iron and zinc concentration could be used for precise introgression of genes into elite wheat cultivars for enhanced uptake of these micronutrients by wheat plants in problematic soils and their biofortification in grains.

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