Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Søren Borg


My main interests lie within the field of transport, content and bioavailability of minerals (iron and zinc) in plants. I work mainly in the important crop plant wheat and barley. I have substantial and documented experience in transformation of cereals, heterologous gene expression using laser capture microdissection, mineral uptake & transport and ferritin iron storage in plants.

Transport, content and bioavailability of iron and zinc in wheat and barley grain

Dietary iron and zinc deficiency is a global problem afflicting about one third of the world’s population. This results primarily from poverty that leads a too narrow food base consisting almost exclusively of inexpensive starch crops like wheat, maize and rice, crops that have a low content of minerals in the endosperm. The strategies utilised to combat this micronutrient malnutrition such as food fortification, mineral supplements and dietary diversification are beneficial short-term solutions for effluent societies. However, in developing countries a long term, self sustainable approach would be the enrichment of iron in staple food products by traditional plant breeding, or modern genetic approaches.

Cisgenic ferritin wheat

To create the foundation for increasing the iron content of the wheat endosperm we have isolated and characterized the ferritin gene complement in wheat. In a cisgenic approach we have developed transgenic wheat plants that overexpress one of the wheat’s own ferritin genes in the endosperm and thereby increase the bioavailable iron content in the edible parts.