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Plant Physiol. 2009 Jan;149(1):297-305. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.128132. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

OsFRDL1 is a citrate transporter required for efficient translocation of iron in rice.

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Research Institute for Bioresources, Okayama University, Kurashiki 710-0046, Japan.


Multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) transporters represent a large family in plants, but their functions are poorly understood. Here, we report the function of a rice (Oryza sativa) MATE gene (Os03g0216700, OsFRDL1), the closest homolog of barley (Hordeum vulgare) HvAACT1 (aluminum [Al]-activated citrate transporter 1), in terms of metal stress (iron [Fe] deficiency and Al toxicity). This gene was mainly expressed in the roots and the expression level was not affected by either Fe deficiency or Al toxicity. Knockout of this gene resulted in leaf chlorosis, lower leaf Fe concentration, higher accumulation of zinc and manganese concentration in the leaves, and precipitation of Fe in the root's stele. The concentration of citrate and ferric iron in the xylem sap was lower in the knockout line compared to the wild-type rice. Heterologous expression of OsFRDL1 in Xenopus oocytes showed transport activity for citrate. Immunostaining showed that OsFRDL1 was localized at the pericycle cells of the roots. On the other hand, there was no difference in the Al-induced secretion of citrate from the roots between the knockout line and the wild-type rice. Taken together, our results indicate that OsFRDL1 is a citrate transporter localized at the pericycle cells, which is necessary for efficient translocation of Fe to the shoot as a Fe-citrate complex.

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