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J Exp Bot. 2002 Jul;53(374):1677-82.

Cloning an iron-regulated metal transporter from rice.

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Laboratory of Plant Molecular Physiology, Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, The University of Tokyo, 1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, 113-8657 Tokyo, Japan.


Rice cDNA and genomic libraries were screened in order to clone an Fe(II) transporter gene. A cDNA clone highly homologous to the Arabidopsis Fe(II) transporter gene IRT1 was isolated from Fe-deficient rice roots. The cDNA clone was named OsIRT1. A genomic clone corresponding to the cDNA was also obtained, sequenced and analysed. When expressed in yeast cells, OsIRT1 cDNA reversed the growth defects of the yeast iron-uptake mutant. Northern blot analysis revealed that OsIRT1 mRNA was predominantly expressed in roots and was induced by Fe- and Cu-deficiency. This suggests that OsIRT1 is a functional metal transporter for iron, and is actively engaged in Fe uptake from soils, especially under limiting conditions.

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