Towards Edible Crop Seeds

Towards Edible Crop Seeds

Author: Melania Tesio

Plants use glucosinolates to defend themselves against herbivores and pathogens. A transport system allocates these toxic compounds in a tissue specific manner, guaranteeing their highest levels in the sites most likely to be attacked.

The high concentration of glucosinolates in the edible parts of crops such as seeds reduces their nutritional value. Consequently, preventing glucosinolate accumulation in these tissues is of a major importance.

Hassam Hassan Nour-Eldin, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues, demonstrated that GTR1 and GTR2, two proteins belonging to the nitrate/peptide transporter family, are high affinity, specific H+/glucosinolate symporters. GTR1 and GTR2 genetic ablation prevented accumulation of glucosinolates in seeds while promoting their increase in source tissues.
This strategy might be useful to inhibit the transport of these toxic compounds to the edible parts of crops.

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