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Plant Physiol. 2001 Apr;125(4):1679-87.

Iron stress-induced changes in root epidermal cell fate are regulated independently from physiological responses to low iron availability.

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  • 1Carl von Ossietzky Universit├Ąt Oldenburg, Fachbereich Biologie, Geo und Umweltwissenschaften, D-26111 Oldenburg, Postfach 2503, Germany.


Iron-overaccumulating mutants were investigated with respect to changes in epidermal cell patterning and root reductase activity in response to iron starvation. In all mutants under investigation, ferric chelate reductase activity was up-regulated both in the presence and absence of iron in the growth medium. The induction of transfer cells in the rhizodermis appeared to be iron regulated in the pea (Pisum sativum L. cv Dippes Gelbe Viktoria and cv Sparkle) mutants bronze and degenerated leaflets, but not in roots of the tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv Bonner Beste) mutant chloronerva, suggesting that in chloronerva iron cannot be recognized by putative sensor proteins. Experiments with split-root plants supports the hypothesis that Fe(III) chelate reductase is regulated by a shoot-borne signal molecule, communicating the iron status of the shoot to the roots. In contrast, the formation of transfer cells was dependent on the local concentration of iron, implying that this shoot signal does not affect their formation. Different repression curves of the two responses imply that the induction of transfer cells occurs after the enhancement of electron transfer across the plasma membrane rather than being causally linked. Similar to transfer cells, the formation of extra root hairs in the Arabidopsis mutant man1 was regulated by the iron concentration of the growth medium and was unaffected by interorgan signaling.

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