High-carotenoid maize: development of plant biotechnology prototypes for human and animal health and nutrition
Díaz Gómez, Joana
Moreno Martínez, José Antonio
Arjó Pont, Gemma
Twyman, Richard M.
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Carolight® is a transgenic maize variety that accumulates extraordinary levels of carotenoids, including those with vitamin A activity. The development of Carolight® maize involved the technical implementation of a novel combinatorial transformation method, followed by rigorous testing for transgene
expression and the accumulation of different carotenoid molecules. Carolight® was envisaged as a way to improve the nutritional health of human populations that cannot access a diverse diet, but this ultimate humanitarian application can only be achieved after extensive testing for safety, agronomic performance and nutritional sufficiency. In this article, we chart the history of Carolight® maize focusing on its development, extensive field testing for agronomic performance and resistance to pests and pathogens, and feeding trials to analyze its impact on farm animals (and their meat/dairy products) as well as animal models of human diseases. We also describe more advanced versions of Carolight® endowed with pest-resistance traits, and other carotenoid-enhanced maize varieties originating from the same series of initial transformation experiments. Finally we discuss the further steps required before Carolight® can fulfil its humanitarian objectives, including the intellectual property and regulatory constraints that lie in its path.
Is part ofPhytochemistry Reviews, 2017, p. 1-15
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