Improving iron nutrition in plant foods: the role of legumes and soil microbes

Mariana Roriz*, Marta Barros, Paula M. L. Castro, Susana M. P. Carvalho, Marta W. Vasconcelos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter provides a perspective to the current state of art of iron (Fe) nutrition in legume crops. It explores the available agronomic and biotechnological tools for Fe delivery, focusing on the application of plant growth-promoting bacteria and Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as hidden-hunger and climate changes emerge. Fe also plays a key role as an oxygen carrier in the heme group of hemoglobin and it is present in various cells as cytochromes and myoglobin. Fe deficiency causes iron-deficiency anemia, the most common type of anemia. According to World Health Organization, biofortification is the process by which the nutritional quality of food crops is improved through agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology. This process allows micronutrient enrichment of plant foods and can also target a reduction in the amount of antinutrients, that can negatively affect the bioavailability of nutrients in the human gut.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVitamins and minerals biofortification of edible plants
EditorsNoureddine Benkeblia
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781119511151
ISBN (Print)9781119511113
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020


  • Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
  • Oron deficiency
  • Iron nutrition
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Legume crops
  • Plant growth-promoting bacteria


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