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Gene-edited tomatoes to provide more vitamin D

Gene-edited tomatoes to provide more vitamin D


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Fish and dairy products are the best sources of vitamin D and can be difficult for people on a plant-based diet to get enough of the essential micronutrients. Vitamin D protects our bones and helps keep our muscles and teeth healthy.

Now a team of researchers has come up with a potential new vegan source of vitamin D: tomatoes. Genes edited using CRISPR-Cas9 Techniques containing vitamin D precursors.

If this process is commercially adopted by farmers and producers, these tomatoes could help address the vitamin D deficiency that the study said would affect 1 billion people worldwide.

“This exciting discovery not only improves human health, but also contributes to the environmental benefits associated with more plant-based diets. Often found in animal products and biologically. It is related to the challenge of securing some important vitamins and minerals available in the environment, “Gaipopy Professor Ecology at Southampton University told the Science Media Center in London. He was not involved in the study.

Vitamin D supplements are widely available in many countries, However Eating tomatoes is “much better than taking pills,” said co-author Cathie Martin, a professor at the John Innes Center in Norwich, England.

“I think eating a (vitamin D) diet in the form of a plant also means that you can get even more benefits from eating tomatoes. You don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables anyway. Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, “she said. News briefing.

The study It was published in the scientific journal Nature Plants on Monday.

Although diet is the main source of vitamin D for most people, Our body also makes micronutrients when the skin is exposed to UVB light-it Why is it sometimes called a sunshine vitamin? Scientists used a similar process on tomato plants.

The skin compound that can make vitamin D, known as 7-DHC, or provitamin D3, is also found in tomato leaves and immature green fruits.

Researchers have blocked genes in tomato plants that normally convert provitamin D3 to cholesterol. Provitamin D3 that accumulates in ripe tomato fruits.

The tomato on the left is genetically edited.

Tomatoes were treated with UVB light to convert provitamin D3 to vitamin D3, which helps our body. The study found that provitamin D3 in one tomato, once converted to vitamin D3, corresponds to the amount of vitamin D3 in two medium-sized eggs or 28 grams (1 ounce) of tuna. I did.

Tests in the UK are evaluating whether tomato plants are grown outdoors. Sunlight automatically results in the conversion of 7-DHC to vitamin D3. According to Martin, the first fruits are expected to ripen by the end of June. She added that the tomatoes could be picked and dried in the sun, eliminating the need for UVB light treatment.

England Congress passed a new law Designed to facilitate testing of genetically modified crops earlier this year.

The gene-blocking techniques that researchers have made freely available in their publications can also be applied to other species of solanus plants such as peppers, chili, eggplant, and potatoes, Martin said.

According to researchers, mushrooms can also be a source of vitamin D when treated with UVB light or grown in the wild. However, these plants produced vitamin D2. This is “substantially less biologically effective” than vitamin D3 from meat and dairy products, the paper states.

Susan Lanham New, a professor of nutrition science at Sally University in the United Kingdom, said vitamin D3 supplements are not usually vegan. She was not involved in the study.

“Lanolin, the main source (of D3), is extracted from wool. It’s okay for vegetarians because sheep are still alive. But it’s not for vegans. That makes this study very much. One of the things that makes it special is that we have a D3 source (from plants), “she said in a briefing.

The researchers said that the genetically edited tomato leaves also contained significant amounts of provitamin D. They were looking at ways to turn this waste into a vegan vitamin D supplement. The research team hoped that this would serve as an incentive for growers to plant and produce biofortified tomatoes.

Genetically-edited tomatoes are indistinguishable from regular tomatoes and taste the same, said Jie Li, a postdoctoral researcher at the John Innes Center, and genetic editing is the growth and development of the plan. , Did not affect the yield.

Scientist who devised CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology Received the Nobel Prize in 2020.. This tool has great impact on biomedical research, clinical medicine, agriculture and agriculture. Like precision scissors, you can knock out specific genes or insert new genetic material to target certain sites of genetic material.




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