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Plant Physiol. 2010 Jul;153(3):1385-97. doi: 10.1104/pp.110.153452. Epub 2010 May 20.

Disruption of ptLPD1 or ptLPD2, genes that encode isoforms of the plastidial lipoamide dehydrogenase, confers arsenate hypersensitivity in Arabidopsis.

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School of Plant Biology and Institute of Agriculture, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences , University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia.


Arsenic is a ubiquitous environmental poison that inhibits root elongation and seed germination to a variable extent depending on the plant species. To understand the molecular mechanisms of arsenic resistance, a genetic screen was developed to isolate arsenate overly sensitive (aos) mutants from an activation-tagged Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) population. Three aos mutants were isolated, and the phenotype of each was demonstrated to be due to an identical disruption of plastidial LIPOAMIDE DEHYDROGENASE1 (ptLPD1), a gene that encodes one of the two E3 isoforms found in the plastidial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. In the presence of arsenate, ptlpd1-1 plants exhibited reduced root and shoot growth and enhanced anthocyanin accumulation compared with wild-type plants. The ptlpd1-1 plants accumulated the same amount of arsenic as wild-type plants, indicating that the aos phenotype was not due to increased arsenate in the tissues but to an increase in the innate sensitivity to the poison. Interestingly, a ptlpd1-4 knockdown allele produced a partial aos phenotype. Two loss-of-function alleles of ptLPD2 in Arabidopsis also caused elevated arsenate sensitivity, but the sensitivity was less pronounced than for the ptlpd1 mutants. Moreover, both the ptlpd1 and ptlpd2 mutants were more sensitive to arsenite than wild-type plants, and the LPD activity in isolated chloroplasts from wild-type plants was sensitive to arsenite but not arsenate. These findings show that the ptLPD isoforms are critical in vivo determinants of arsenite-mediated arsenic sensitivity in Arabidopsis and possible strategic targets for increasing arsenic tolerance.

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