Super Tomatoes: Breakthrough In Gene Editing May Provide A New Source Of Vitamin D

Credit: Unsplash, Fukayamamo

Tomatoes gene-edited employing CRISPR biotechnology to produce a forerunner to vitamin D have been developed by a group of scientists as a possible new vegetarian alternative for vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency impacts an estimated 1 billion individuals worldwide, according to a new research. If cultivators and manufacturers embrace this procedure economically, these vegetables might help solve this issue.

Increased plant-based diets help the ecosystem as well as people’s health, according to this groundbreaking finding. However, obtaining essential vitamins and mineral deposits that are often present in animal foods and are bioavailable might be a struggle. Because tomatoes are a plant-based source of vitamin D, they provide an additional health advantage. In any case, we do not consume enough fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C may also be found in a tomato, making it an excellent source of the vitamin.

Usually humans get their vitamin D through food, but it may also be produced in the body when subjected to UVB radiation, which is why it’s known as the “sunlight vitamin.” Tomato crops were found to have a similar mechanism that the researchers were able to take advantage of. In tomato crops, a mechanism that transforms provitamin D3 into cholesterol is generally inhibited, which allows provitamin D3 to concentrate in mature tomato fruits, according to the scientists.

Several solanaceous species of plants potentially benefit from the scientists’ gene-blocking method, which they are sharing with the world for free with the release of their work.

According to the study’s findings, fungi irradiated with UVB radiation or cultivated in the environment may be a reservoir of vitamin D. They did create a lesser amount of vitamin D2 than the meats and dairy-derived vitamin D3, according to this study.

CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing pioneers will be awarded the Nobel Prize year 2020. Biomedical sciences, medicine, farming, and agribusiness are all benefiting greatly from this technology. Targeting certain genes or adding fresh genetic material is as simple as using a set of precise cutters.

The study can be found on Nature.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.