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Bioavailability and Geographic Distribution of Nutritionally Important Elements in Crops and Soils


<OL> <LI> To improve the nutritional value of staple food crops (wheat, rice, maize, beans, cassava) by increasing the content & bioavailability of iron, zinc, selenium, & vitamin A through sustainable changes to crops, crop production & food processing systems. <LI>To reduce the concentrations of cadmium in durum wheat & other crops by understanding & mapping the distribution of cadmium in wheat-growing soils, by developing agronomic methods to reduce cadmium uptake, & by understanding & controlling the mechanisms of cadmium uptake.

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<UL> <LI> Rice, wheat, maize, beans & cassava (IRRI, CIAT and CIMMYT) with elevated concentrations of micronutrients will be screened for bioavailable iron, zinc, selenium and provitamin A carotenoids using a rat model, human Caco-2
cell model & human feeding trials in cooperation with human nutritionists. <LI> Inhibitors or promoters of bioavailability will be measured. Effects of soil and production practices on micronutrients in plant foods will be studied. <LI> The spatial distribution of cadmium and other trace elements in
soils of the durum wheat-growing region of the USA will be mapped using geostatistical methods & geographic Information systems. <LI> Chemical reactions controlling the solubility of cadmium and other trace elements in North Dakota soils will be studied including the role of chloride. <LI> Physiological studies of uptake of zinc and cadmium will be conducted in the laboratory and under controlled cultural conditions. <LI> Radioactive tracers will quantify accumulation amd translocation of metals in edible plant parts.<LI> The role of phytochelatins and phytometallophores in metal uptake will be studied.

Norvell, Wendell
Cornell University
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