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Vitamin E refers to four tocopherols and four tocotrienols that are exclusively synthesized by photosynthetic organisms. While α-tocopherol is the most potent vitamin E compound, it is not the main form consumed since the composition of most major crops is dominated by γ-tocopherol. Nutritional studies show that populations of developed countries do not consume enough vitamin E and that a large proportion of individuals exhibit plasma α-tocopherol deficiency. Following the identification of vitamin E biosynthetic genes, several strategies including metabolic engineering, classic breeding and mutation breeding, have been undertaken to improve the vitamin E content of crops. In addition to providing crops in which vitamin E content is enhanced, these studies are revealing the bottlenecks limiting its biosynthesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Laurent Mène-Saffrané, Sébastien Pellaud. Current strategies for vitamin E biofortification of crops. Current opinion in biotechnology. 2017 Apr;44:189-197

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PMID: 28327426

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