Unlocking the Potential of Zinc (Zn) Efficiency for Enhanced Crop Production in Low-Zn Environments
Keywords:Zinc (Zn), Nutrient, Zn efficiency, Crop production, Suboptimal Zn
Approximately three billion people globally suffer from inadequate zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) nutrition, leading to the deaths of 500,000 children. The trend towards healthier diets has heightened awareness of mineral nutrients like Zn, which is crucial for plant growth and plays a role in various processes like enzyme activation, chlorophyll synthesis, gene expression, signal transduction, and plant defense. Zn deficiency is a widespread problem, especially in alkaline soils, as these soils cannot meet the Zn needs of crops. To increase crop yield and growth, it is important to enhance plant Zn efficiency through improved Zn uptake, transport, and utilization. The cultivation of crops that demonstrate a strong ability to uptake and utilize zinc, such as rice, beans, wheat, soybeans, and maize, holds great potential for promoting sustainable food production and ensuring adequate nutrient intake. The objective of this review is to delve into crucial aspects of zinc efficiency in plants, such as the root system's ability to absorb zinc, the role of zinc transporters, and the utilization of zinc in the shoot, with the aim of enhancing the zinc content in crops and satisfying the growing demand for food globally. Future research will aim to identify the genes responsible for Zn efficiency and optimize phenotyping for the development of Zn-efficient crop varieties, ensuring food security for the future.
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