3 years ago

Phytosiderophores determine thresholds for iron and zinc accumulation in biofortified rice endosperm while inhibiting the accumulation of cadmium.

Raviraj Banakar, Stanislav Kopriva, Pablo Díaz-Benito, Teresa Capell, Ana Alvarez Fernandez, Paul Christou, Javier Abadia
Nicotianamine (NA) and 2'-deoxymugenic acid (DMA) are metal-chelating ligands that promote the accumulation of metals in rice endosperm, but it is unclear how these phytosiderophores regulate the levels of different metals and limit their accumulation. In this study, transgenic rice plants producing high levels of NA and DMA accumulated up to 4-fold more iron (Fe) and 2-fold more zinc (Zn) in the endosperm compared with wild-type plants. The distribution of Fe and Zn in vegetative tissues suggested that both metals are sequestered as a buffering mechanism to avoid overloading the seeds. The buffering mechanism involves the modulation of genes encoding metal transporters in the roots and aboveground vegetative tissues. As well as accumulating more Fe and Zn, the endosperm of the transgenic plants accumulated less cadmium (Cd), suggesting that higher levels of Fe and Zn competitively inhibit Cd accumulation. Our data show that although there is a strict upper limit for Fe (~22.5 µg g-1 dry weight) and Zn (~84 µg g-1 dry weight) accumulation in the endosperm, the careful selection of strategies to increase endosperm loading with essential minerals can also limit the accumulation of toxic metals such as Cd, thus further increasing the nutritional value of rice.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erx304

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erx304

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