Iron fortification of rice seed by the soybean ferritin gene

Nat Biotechnol. 1999 Mar;17(3):282-6. doi: 10.1038/7029.


To improve the iron content of rice, we have transferred the entire coding sequence of the soybean ferritin gene into Oryza sativa (L. cv. Kita-ake) by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The rice seed-storage protein glutelin promoter, GluB-1, was used to drive expression of the soybean gene specifically in developing, self-pollinated seeds (T1 seeds) of transgenic plants, as confirmed by reverse transcription PCR analysis. Stable accumulation of the ferritin subunit in the rice seed was demonstrated by western blot analysis, and its specific accumulation in the endosperm by immunologic tissue printing. The iron content of T1 seeds was as much as threefold greater than that of their untransformed counterparts.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Southern
  • Blotting, Western
  • Ferritins / genetics*
  • Ferritins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transformation, Genetic


  • Ferritins
  • Iron