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  • 1 Harbin Normal University, Harbin 150025, China
  • 2 Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150086, China
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Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder, affecting over 30% of the world’s human population. The primary method used to alleviate this problem is nutrient biofortification of crops so as to improve the iron content and its availability in food sources. The over-expression of ferritin is an effective method to increase iron concentration in transgenic crops. For the research reported herein, sickle alfalfa (Medicago falcata L.) ferritin was transformed into wheat driven by the seed-storage protein glutelin GluB-1 gene promoter. The integration of ferritin into the wheat was assessed by PCR, RT-PCR and Western blotting. The concentration of certain minerals in the transgenic wheat grain was determined by inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry, the results showed that grain Fe and Zn concentration of transgenic wheat increased by 73% and 44% compared to nontransformed wheat, respectively. However, grain Cu and Cd concentration of transgenic wheat grain decreased significantly in comparison with non-transformed wheat. The results suggest that the over-expression of sickle alfalfa ferritin, controlled by the seed-storage protein glutelin GluB-1 gene promoter, increases the grain Fe and Zn concentration, but also affects the homeostasis of other minerals in transgenic wheat grain.

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