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Plant Physiol. 2004 Sep;136(1):2523-31. Epub 2004 Aug 13.

FRD3 controls iron localization in Arabidopsis.

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Departments of Biochemistry and Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.


The frd3 mutant of Arabidopsis exhibits constitutive expression of its iron uptake responses and is chlorotic. These phenotypes are consistent with defects either in iron deficiency signaling or in iron translocation and localization. Here we present several experiments demonstrating that a functional FRD3 gene is necessary for correct iron localization in both the root and shoot of Arabidopsis plants. Reciprocal grafting experiments with frd3 and wild-type Arabidopsis plants reveal that the phenotype of a grafted plant is determined by the genotype of the root, not by the genotype of the shoot. This indicates that FRD3 function is root-specific and points to a role for FRD3 in delivering iron to the shoot in a usable form. When grown under certain conditions, frd3 mutant plants overaccumulate iron in their shoot tissues. However, we demonstrate by direct measurement of iron levels in shoot protoplasts that intracellular iron levels in frd3 are only about one-half the levels in wild type. Histochemical staining for iron reveals that frd3 mutants accumulate high levels of ferric iron in their root vascular cylinder, the same tissues in which the FRD3 gene is expressed. Taken together, these results clearly indicate a role for FRD3 in iron localization in Arabidopsis. Specifically, FRD3 is likely to function in root xylem loading of an iron chelator or other factor necessary for efficient iron uptake out of the xylem or apoplastic space and into leaf cells.

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