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Book chapter, 2022

Transgenic Vegetable Breeding for Nutritional Quality and Health Benefits: A Review

Silva Dias, João; Ortiz, Rodomiro


This article discusses recent attempts to characterize and modify nutrients and bioactive compounds in vegetable crops by using transgenic approaches. Malnutrition and unhealthy diets have become major risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Vegetables are an important part of a well-balanced diet. Due to unbalanced diets, around 3 billion people worldwide are malnourished. Vegetables can aid in the prevention of malnutrition-related illnesses. Vegetable breeders can use genetic engineering to add desired transgenes into elite cultivars, greatly increasing their value. It also provides one-of-a-kind chances to improve nutritional quality and provide other health benefits. Many vegetable crops have been genetically modified to improve features like nutritional value or flavor, as well as to minimize bitterness and anti-nutritional elements. Transgenic veggies can also be utilized to deliver vaccines. Consumers may profit even more from eating more nutritious transgenic veggies; for example, increasing crop carotenoids through metabolic sink manipulation via genetic engineering appears to be possible in some crops. Ca uptake may be boosted by genetically engineering carrots with higher Ca levels, reducing the occurrence of calcium shortages such osteoporosis. The lack of this micronutrient, which severely inhibits organ function, will be remedied by fortified transgenic lettuce with zinc. Transgenic tomatoes with folate levels that give a complete adult daily requirement can also help to overcome folate insufficiency, which is considered a global health problem. Genetic engineering has also become an ideal tool to develop anthocyanin-rich tomatoes. Transgenic lettuce with higher levels of tocopherol and resveratrol may help to prevent coronary artery disease and arteriosclerosis, as well as cancer chemoprevention. Transgenic techniques can help improve food safety and health advantages; for example, rural African resource poor consumers will gain from consuming cyanide-free cassava varieties. Growers and consumers will accept biotechnology-derived vegetable crops if clear benefits and safety are demonstrated.


human health; genetic engineering; antioxidants; GMOs; horticulture; phytochemicals; nutraceuticals; transgenic vegetables; transgenes

Published in

Book title: Emerging Trends in Disease and Health Research Volume 4
ISBN: 978-93-5547-360-8, eISBN: 978-93-5547-363-9
Publisher: B P International

Authors' information

Silva Dias, João
University of Lisbon
Ortiz, Rodomiro (Ortiz Rios, Rodomiro Octavio)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG3 Good health and well-being
SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Plant Biotechnology
Genetics and Breeding

Publication Identifiers


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