University of Cambridge > > Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars > Considering B vitamin metabolism in plants, and for food and nutritional security

Considering B vitamin metabolism in plants, and for food and nutritional security

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Vitamins (as vital organic micronutrients for animals) were first discovered over a century ago. Plants biosynthesize these compounds de novo and are a predominant source of vitamins for humans. While gathering the wealth of information on the impact of vitamins in human health and disease alleviation, the biology of these compounds in plants themselves was largely sidelined. Within the vitamin classes, the B vitamins are renowned for their essential biochemical function as coenzymes in metabolism. However, each B vitamin is a family of compounds and little is known about the importance of maintaining individual family homeostasis. Plants undergo metabolic reprograming in response to environmental perturbations, thus regulation of vitamin homeostasis may be an important facet of metabolic homeostasis, influencing plant growth and health. In this talk, I will present examples of aspects that we uncovered that relate to the integration of B vitamins into plant growth and nutrient status. An application of this work leads to the possibility of overproduction of these compounds to enhance plant nutrient content. In this context, I will also discuss our work on enhancing the levels of particular B vitamins in consumed parts of crop plants for biofortification purposes.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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