Increased protein and mineral content from genetically engineered wheat

Researchers have cloned a gene from wild wheat that increases its protein, zinc, and iron content. The impact of this research could improve nutrition, worldwide.

The cloned gene, designated GPC-B1 for its effect on grain protein content, accelerates grain maturity and increases grain protein and micronutrient content by 10% to 15% in the wheat varieties studied so far.

Dr. Jorge Dubcovsky from the University of California, Davis estimates that this enhanced wheat could be available in 2007. He adds, “The exact effect depends on the genetic background of the [wheat] variety and the environment where the gene is used.”

The results appear in the Nov. 24 issue of the journal Science, and are summarized here.

11/26/06 10:36 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.