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Title: From the Soil to the Seed. Metal Transport in Arabidopsis

Deficiencies of micronutrients such as Fe, Mn, and Zn commonly limit plant growth and crop yields. The long-term goals of our program are to understand how plants acquire metal micronutrients from the soil and distribute them while protecting themselves from the potential redox damage metals can cause to living tissues. Metals serve as important co-factors for photosynthesis and respiration, yet we still know very little about metal transport. Our approach combines experimental and computational tools from the physical sciences with biochemistry and molecular biology. Specifically, we combine mutant analysis with synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (SXRF) spectroscopy, a technique that allows us to image the elemental composition of living plant material in 3-D. By analyzing the phenotypes of lines carrying mutations in various metal transporters, we have identified the genes responsible for uptake of zinc from the soil as well as genes involved in loading the seeds with metal micronutrients. Several of these transporters affect the localization of metals in the seed without affecting the overall metal content. Understanding how seeds obtain and store nutrients is key to developing crops with higher agronomic and nutritional value.
  1. Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
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DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Trustees of Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES Arabidopsis, synchrotron x-ray fluorescence analysis, metals, iron, manganese, zinc, metal transport