Enhancing the nutritional value of food crops is a means of improving human nutrition and health. We report here the positional cloning of Gpc-B1, a wheat quantitative trait locus associated with increased grain protein, zinc, and iron content. The ancestral wild wheat allele encodes a NAC transcription factor (NAM-B1) that accelerates senescence and increases nutrient remobilization from leaves to developing grains, whereas modern wheat varieties carry a nonfunctional NAM-B1 allele. Reduction in RNA levels of the multiple NAM homologs by RNA interference delayed senescence by more than 3 weeks and reduced wheat grain protein, zinc, and iron content by more than 30%.
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