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Plant Physiol. 2009 Jan;149(1):340-51. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.129155. Epub 2008 Nov 12.

A second mechanism for aluminum resistance in wheat relies on the constitutive efflux of citrate from roots.

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CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601, Australia.


The first confirmed mechanism for aluminum (Al) resistance in plants is encoded by the wheat (Triticum aestivum) gene, TaALMT1, on chromosome 4DL. TaALMT1 controls the Al-activated efflux of malate from roots, and this mechanism is widespread among Al-resistant genotypes of diverse genetic origins. This study describes a second mechanism for Al resistance in wheat that relies on citrate efflux. Citrate efflux occurred constitutively from the roots of Brazilian cultivars Carazinho, Maringa, Toropi, and Trintecinco. Examination of two populations segregating for this trait showed that citrate efflux was controlled by a single locus. Whole-genome linkage mapping using an F(2) population derived from a cross between Carazinho (citrate efflux) and the cultivar EGA-Burke (no citrate efflux) identified a major locus on chromosome 4BL, Xce(c), which accounts for more than 50% of the phenotypic variation in citrate efflux. Mendelizing the quantitative variation in citrate efflux into qualitative data, the Xce(c) locus was mapped within 6.3 cM of the microsatellite marker Xgwm495 locus. This linkage was validated in a second population of F(2:3) families derived from a cross between Carazinho and the cultivar Egret (no citrate efflux). We show that expression of an expressed sequence tag, belonging to the multidrug and toxin efflux (MATE) gene family, correlates with the citrate efflux phenotype. This study provides genetic and physiological evidence that citrate efflux is a second mechanism for Al resistance in wheat.

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