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SOCIETY FOR INTEGRATIVE AND COMPARATIVE BIOLOGY
2021 VIRTUAL ANNUAL MEETING (VAM)
January 3 - Febuary 28, 2021

Meeting Abstract

S7-12  Wed Jan 6 18:30 - 19:00  Synthetic biogenesis of carotenoid-rich plastids for crop biofortification Llorente, B; ARC Center of Excellence in Synthetic Biology, Macquarie University and CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform, Sydney, Australia briardo.llorente@mq.edu.au

Synthetic biology has opened a new dimension for the future of agriculture, where crops can be engineered with new and improved traits. The nutritional value of crops is one such trait that is of primary importance to be improved. Carotenoids are natural antioxidant pigments essential to human health and the main source of Vitamin A. However, humans cannot produce carotenoids and need to obtain them primarily through the consumption of plant-based foods. We have developed a novel and generalizable approach that enables the synthetic conversion of chloroplasts into carotenoid-rich plastids named chromoplasts. Besides serving to study a long-standing question in plant biology (i.e., plastid differentiation), this approach lays the foundation for developing more nutritious crops.