Studies of Cream Seeded Carioca Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) from a Rwandan Efficacy Trial: In Vitro and In Vivo Screening Tools Reflect Human Studies and Predict Beneficial Results from Iron Biofortified Beans.
ABSTRACT: Iron (Fe) deficiency is a highly prevalent micronutrient insufficiency predominantly caused by a lack of bioavailable Fe from the diet. The consumption of beans as a major food crop in some populations suffering from Fe deficiency is relatively high. Therefore, our objective was to determine whether a biofortified variety of cream seeded carioca bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) could provide more bioavailable-Fe than a standard variety using in-vivo (broiler chicken, Gallus gallus) and in-vitro (Caco-2 cell) models. Studies were conducted under conditions designed to mimic the actual human feeding protocol. Two carioca-beans, a standard (G4825; 58 ?g Fe/g) and a biofortified (SMC; 106 ?g Fe/g), were utilized. Diets were formulated to meet the nutrient requirements of Gallus gallus except for Fe (33.7 and 48.7 ?g Fe/g, standard and biofortified diets, respectively). In-vitro observations indicated that more bioavailable-Fe was present in the biofortified beans and diet (P<0.05). In-vivo, improvements in Fe-status were observed in the biofortified bean treatment, as indicated by the increased total-body-Hemoglobin-Fe, and hepatic Fe-concentration (P<0.05). Also, DMT-1 mRNA-expression was increased in the standard bean treatment (P<0.05), indicating an upregulation of absorption to compensate for less bioavailable-Fe. These results demonstrate that the biofortified beans provided more bioavailable Fe; however, the in vitro results revealed that ferritin formation values were relatively low. Such observations are indicative of the presence of high levels of polyphenols and phytate that inhibit Fe absorption. Indeed, we identified higher levels of phytate and quercetin 3-glucoside in the Fe biofortified bean variety. Our results indicate that the biofortified bean line was able to moderately improve Fe-status, and that concurrent increase in the concentration of phytate and polyphenols in beans may limit the benefit of increased Fe-concentration. Therefore, specific targeting of such compounds during the breeding process may yield improved dietary Fe-bioavailability. Our findings are in agreement with the human efficacy trial that demonstrated that the biofortified carioca beans improved the Fe-status of Rwandan women. We suggest the utilization of these in vitro and in vivo screening tools to guide studies aimed to develop and evaluate biofortified staple food crops. This approach has the potential to more effectively utilize research funds and provides a means to monitor the nutritional quality of the Fe-biofortified crops once released to farmers.
Project description:Biofortification is a plant breeding method that introduces increased concentrations of minerals in staple food crops (e.g., legumes, cereal grains), and has shown success in alleviating insufficient Fe intake in various human populations. Unlike other strategies utilized to alleviate Fe deficiency, studies of the gut microbiota in the context of Fe biofortification have not yet been reported, although the consumption of Fe biofortified staple food crops has increased significantly over time. Hence, in this study, we performed a 6-week feeding trial in Gallus gallus (n = 14), aimed to investigate the alterations in the gut microbiome following administration of an Fe biofortified bean-based diet (biofortified, BFe) versus a bean based diet with poorly-bioavailable Fe (standard, SFe). Cream seeded carioca bean based diets were designed in an identical fashion to those used in a recent human clinical trial of Fe biofortified beans in Rwanda. We hypothesized that the different dietary Fe contents in the beans based diets will alter the composition and function of the intestinal microbiome. The primary outcomes were changes in the gut microbiome composition and function analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We observed no significant changes in phylogenetic diversity between groups. There were significant differences in the composition of the microbiota between groups, with the BFe group harboring fewer taxa participating in bacterial Fe uptake, increased abundance of bacteria involved in phenolic catabolism, and increased abundance of beneficial butyrate-producing bacteria. Additionally, depletion of key bacterial pathways responsible for bacterial viability and Fe uptake suggest that improvements in Fe bioavailability, in addition to increases in Fe-polyphenol and Fe-phytate complexes due to biofortification, led to decreased concentrations of cecal Fe available for bacterial utilization. Our findings demonstrate that Fe biofortification may improve Fe status without negatively altering the structure and function of the gut microbiota, as is observed with other nutritional methods of Fe supplementation. These results may be used to further improve the efficacy and safety of future biofortification efforts in eradicating global Fe deficiency.
Project description:A wide array of molecular markers has been used to investigate the genetic diversity among common bean species. However, the best combination of markers for studying such diversity among common bean cultivars has yet to be determined. Few reports have examined the genetic diversity of the carioca bean, commercially one of the most important common beans in Brazil. In this study, we examined the usefulness of two molecular marker systems (simple sequence repeats - SSRs and amplified fragment length polymorphisms - AFLPs) for assessing the genetic diversity of carioca beans. The amount of information provided by Roger's modified genetic distance was used to analyze SSR data and Jaccards similarity coefficient was used for AFLP data. Seventy SSRs were polymorphic and 20 AFLP primer combinations produced 635 polymorphic bands. Molecular analysis showed that carioca genotypes were quite diverse. AFLPs revealed greater genetic differentiation and variation within the carioca genotypes (Gst = 98% and Fst = 0.83, respectively) than SSRs and provided better resolution for clustering the carioca genotypes. SSRs and AFLPs were both suitable for assessing the genetic diversity of Brazilian carioca genotypes since the number of markers used in each system provided a low coefficient of variation. However, fingerprint profiles were generated faster with AFLPs, making them a better choice for assessing genetic diversity in the carioca germplasm.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Iron-biofortified staple foods can improve iron status and resolve iron deficiency. However, whether improved iron status from iron biofortification can improve physical performance remains unclear. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to examine whether changes in iron status from an iron-biofortified bean intervention affect work efficiency. METHODS:A total of 125 iron-depleted (ferritin <20 ?g/L) female Rwandan university students (18-26 y) were selected from a larger sample randomly assigned to consume iron-biofortified beans (Fe-Bean; 86.1 mg Fe/kg) or conventional beans (control: 50.6 mg Fe/kg) twice daily for 18 wk (average of 314 g beans consumed/d). Blood biomarkers of iron status (primary outcome) and physical work efficiency (secondary outcome) were measured before and after the intervention. Work performed was assessed during 5-min steady-state periods at 0-, 25-, and 40-W workloads using a mechanically braked cycle ergometer. Work efficiency was calculated at 25 W and 40 W as the work accomplished divided by the energy expended at that workload above that expended at 0 W. General linear models were used to evaluate the relation between changes in iron status biomarkers and work efficiency. RESULTS:The Fe-Bean intervention had significant positive effects on hemoglobin, serum ferritin, and body iron stores but did not affect work efficiency. However, 18-wk change in hemoglobin was positively related to work efficiency at 40 W in the full sample (n = 119; estimate: 0.24 g/L; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.48 g/L; P = 0.044) and among women who were anemic (hemoglobin <120 g/L) at baseline (n = 43; estimate: 0.64 g/L; 95% CI: 0.05, 1.23 g/L; P = 0.036). Among women who were nonanemic at baseline, change in serum ferritin was positively related to change in work efficiency at 40 W (n = 60; estimate: 0.50 ?g/L; 95% CI: 0.06, 0.95 ?g/L; P = 0.027). CONCLUSIONS:Increasing iron status during an iron-biofortified bean feeding trial improves work efficiency in iron-depleted, sedentary women. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01594359.
Project description:Iron deficiency is a major public health problem worldwide, with the highest burden among children. The objective of this randomized efficacy feeding trial was to determine the effects of consuming iron-biofortified beans (Fe-Beans) on the iron status in children, compared to control beans (Control-Beans). A cluster-randomized trial of biofortified beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L), bred to enhance iron content, was conducted over 6 months. The participants were school-aged children (n = 574; 5?12 years), attending 20 rural public boarding schools in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Double-blind randomization was conducted at the school level; 20 schools were randomized to receive either Fe-Beans (n = 10 schools, n = 304 students) or Control-Beans (n = 10 schools, n = 366 students). School administrators, children, and research and laboratory staff were blinded to the intervention group. Iron status (hemoglobin (Hb), serum ferritin (SF), soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR), total body iron (TBI), inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein (CRP) and -1-acid glycoprotein (AGP)), and anthropometric indices for individuals were evaluated at the enrollment and at the end of the trial. The hemoglobin concentrations were adjusted for altitude, and anemia was defined in accordance with age-specific World Health Organization (WHO) criteria (i.e., Hb <115 g/L for <12 years and Hb <120 g/L for 12 years). Serum ferritin concentrations were adjusted for inflammation using BRINDA methods, and iron deficiency was defined as serum ferritin at less than 15.0 µg/L. Total body iron was calculated using Cook's equation. Mixed models were used to examine the effects of Fe-Beans on hematological outcomes, compared to Control-Beans, adjusting for the baseline indicator, with school as a random effect. An analysis was conducted in 10 schools (n = 269 students) in the Fe-Beans group and in 10 schools (n = 305 students) in the Control-Beans group that completed the follow-up. At baseline, 17.8% of the children were anemic and 11.3% were iron deficient (15.9%, BRINDA-adjusted). A total of 6.3% of children had elevated CRP (>5.0 mg/L), and 11.6% had elevated AGP (>1.0 g/L) concentrations at baseline. During the 104 days when feeding was monitored, the total mean individual iron intake from the study beans (Fe-bean group) was 504 mg (IQR: 352, 616) over 68 mean feeding days, and 295 mg (IQR: 197, 341) over 67 mean feeding days in the control group (p < 0.01). During the cluster-randomized efficacy trial, indicators of iron status, including hemoglobin, serum ferritin, soluble transferrin receptor, and total body iron concentrations improved from the baseline to endline (6 months) in both the intervention and control groups. However, Fe-Beans did not significantly improve the iron status indicators, compared to Control-Beans. Similarly, there were no significant effects of Fe-Beans on dichotomous outcomes, including anemia and iron deficiency, compared to Control-Beans. In this 6-month cluster-randomized efficacy trial of iron-biofortified beans in school children in Mexico, indicators of iron status improved in both the intervention and control groups. However, there were no significant effects of Fe-Beans on iron biomarkers, compared to Control-Beans. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT03835377.
Project description:Mineral deficiency is worldwide one of the major problems associated with human health, and biofortification through breeding is considered an important strategy to improve the nutritional content of staple food in countries that face this problem. The assessment of genetic variability for seed nutrient contents is a first step in the development of a biofortified crop. From the germplasm bank IDR-IAPAR-EMATER, a set of 1,512 common bean accessions, consisting of local and commercial varieties and improved lines, was analyzed. High variability among the accessions was observed for all evaluated nutrient contents (P, K, Ca, Mg, Cu, Zn, Mn, Fe and S and protein). In the mean, the contents of the carioca and black market groups (Mesoamerican gene pool), were around 7% higher for the minerals Ca, Cu, Mn and Fe and between 2-4% higher for P, K, Mg and Zn than in the other groups with Mesoamerican and Andean common bean. Few differences were observed among the Mesoamerican accessions that belong to the carioca and black commercial groups. Wide variability was observed among the evaluated genotypes, and the concentrations of the best accessions exceeded the overall mean by 14-28%. Due to the high variability in the evaluated accessions, these results may contribute to the selection of promising parents for the establishment of mating blocks. The nutritional contents of many of the improved lines evaluated in this study were higher than those of the commercial cultivars, indicating the possibility of developing new biofortified cultivars.
Project description:Staple food crops tend to be low in micronutrients; therefore, individuals whose diets rely heavily on them can suffer from micronutrient deficiency. Biofortification addresses this issue through the breeding of staple crops that are micronutrient-dense and high yielding. One such crop is iron-biofortified beans. Ten iron-biofortified bean varieties were released between 2010 and 2012 in Rwanda, a country with high rates of bean production and consumption, to address iron deficiency. This study evaluates the effect of the most widely adopted of these varieties, RWR2245, on household yield, land cultivated under beans, bean consumption, purchases, and sales. Because the adoption decision could be endogenous, we use a control function approach to quantify the impacts of adoption. RWR2245 provides a yield gain of 20%-49% over traditional bush bean varieties. In our preferred model specification, we find that over a 12-month period, growing RWR2245 for at least one out of two annual growing seasons increases the length of time beans are consumed from own production by 0.64 months (19-20 days), reduces the length of time beans are purchased for consumption by 0.73 months (22-23 days), and increases the probability of selling beans by 12%. Adoption can thus improve household nutrition via two channels: primarily by increasing iron intake via substituting biofortified harvested beans for less nutrient-dense beans from the market, and additionally by increasing household income that can be spent on nutritious foods through the reduction in bean purchases and increased likelihood of selling beans. Moreover, the sale of iron-biofortified beans implies the availability of iron-dense food in markets, also benefiting households that purchase beans. These findings are promising for the continued adoption of iron-biofortified beans in Rwanda and elsewhere and provide evidence that biofortified crops are an effective investment for nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction.
Project description:The common dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a globally produced pulse crop and an important source of micronutrients for millions of people across Latin America and Africa. Many of the preferred black and red seed types in these regions have seed coat polyphenols that inhibit the absorption of iron. Yellow beans are distinct from other market classes because they accumulate the antioxidant kaempferol 3-glucoside in their seed coats. Due to their fast cooking tendencies, yellow beans are often marketed at premium prices in the same geographical regions where dietary iron deficiency is a major health concern. Hence, this study compared the iron bioavailability of three faster cooking yellow beans with contrasting seed coat colors from Africa (Manteca, Amarillo, and Njano) to slower cooking white and red kidney commercial varieties. Iron status and iron bioavailability was assessed by the capacity of a bean based diet to generate and maintain total body hemoglobin iron (Hb-Fe) during a 6 week in vivo (Gallus gallus) feeding trial. Over the course of the experiment, animals fed yellow bean diets had significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher Hb-Fe than animals fed the white or red kidney bean diet. This study shows that the Manteca yellow bean possess a rare combination of biochemical traits that result in faster cooking times and improved iron bioavailability. The Manteca yellow bean is worthy of germplasm enhancement to address iron deficiency in regions where beans are consumed as a dietary staple.
Project description:Two hundred forty-six snap bean genotypes and 49 dry beans representing both centers of domestication and six bean races with materials from Europe, Asia, and the Americas were genotyped using a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. The data was analyzed for expected heterozygosity, K-means clustering, principal components, phylogenetic relationships, and population substructure. When all gene pools of snap bean were assembled, the expected heterozygosity was roughly equivalent to a carefully chosen panel of dry beans representing all bean races and centers of domestication demonstrating the genetic richness of snap materials in total. K-means clustering and K = 2 structure analysis showed significant mixing of gene pools in the European and American commercial snap materials and the dominance of the Andean center of domestication among commercial contemporary snap beans. Conversely, the same analysis showed that Chinese, Iberian, and heirloom materials were underrepresented in contemporary materials. Further, Structure analysis revealed eight distinct groups within snap beans. Two showed strong kinship to the Middle American center of domestication, three to the Andean center of domestication, and three showed admixture between the two centers. Snap beans may have been independently derived from dry beans more than once and from both centers. Overall, we identified eight potential germplasm pools for snap bean.
Project description:Biofortification is an effective method to improve the nutritional content of crops and nutritional intake. Breeding for higher micronutrient mineral content in beans is correlated with an increase in phytic acid, a main inhibitor of mineral absorption in humans. Low phytic acid (lpa) beans have a 90% lower phytic acid content compared to conventional beans. This is the first study to investigate mineral and total phytic acid retention after preparing common household recipes from conventional, biofortified and lpa beans. Mineral retention was determined for two conventional, three biofortified and two lpa bean genotypes. Treatments included soaking, boiling (boiled beans) and refrying (bean paste). The average true retention of iron after boiling was 77.2-91.3%; for zinc 41.2-84.0%; and for phytic acid 49.9-85.9%. Soaking led to a significant decrease in zinc and total phytic acid after boiling and refrying, whereas for iron no significant differences were found. lpa beans did not exhibit a consistent pattern of difference in iron and phytic acid retention compared to the other groups of beans. However, lpa beans had a significantly lower retention of zinc compared to conventional and biofortified varieties (p < 0.05). More research is needed to understand the underlying factors responsible for the differences in retention between the groups of beans, especially the low retention of zinc. Combining the lpa and biofortification traits could further improve the nutritional benefits of biofortified beans, by decreasing the phytic acid:iron and zinc ratio in beans.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Evidence suggests that iron deficiency (ID) affects cognitive performance, as measured in behavior. Although such effects must be mediated by changes in the brain, very few studies have included measures of brain activity to assess this relation. OBJECTIVE:We tested the hypothesis that provision of iron-biofortified beans would result in improvements in measures of iron status, brain dynamics, and behavior. METHODS:A double-blind, randomized, intervention study was conducted in 55 women aged 18-27 y with low iron status (serum ferritin <20 µg/L). Women were randomly assigned to consume iron-biofortified (86.1 ppm iron) or comparison beans (50.1 ppm iron) daily for 18 wk. Iron status was assessed by hemoglobin, ferritin, transferrin receptor, and body iron; cognitive performance with 5 computerized tasks; and brain dynamics by concurrent electroencephalography (EEG). All measures were taken at baseline and endline. RESULTS:The groups did not differ on any measures at baseline. Intention-to-treat analyses revealed significant (all P < 0.05) improvements in hemoglobin (partial effect size attributable to the independent variable, ?2 = 0.16), ferritin (?2 = 0.17), and body iron (?2 = 0.10), speed of responding in attentional and mnemonic tasks (?2 = 0.04-0.29), sensitivity and efficiency of memory retrieval (?2 = 0.12-0.55), and measures of EEG amplitude and spectral power (?2 = 0.08 to 0.49). Mediation models provided evidence in support of the hypothesis that changes in iron status produce changes in behavior by way of changes in brain activity. CONCLUSIONS:Behavioral performance and brain activity, as measured by EEG, are sensitive to iron status, and the consumption of iron-biofortified beans for 18 wk resulted in improvements in measures of both, relative to what was obtained with a comparison bean, in a sample of female university students. Furthermore, the results support the conclusion that changes in brain activity resulting from consumption of biofortified beans mediate the relations between changes in iron biomarkers and changes in cognition. Clinical trial registry: ClinicalTrials.gov Reg No. NCT01594359.