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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2015;66:571-98. doi: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-043014-114822. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Plant Adaptation to Acid Soils: The Molecular Basis for Crop Aluminum Resistance.

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Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture and Health, USDA-ARS, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853; email: , ,


Aluminum (Al) toxicity in acid soils is a significant limitation to crop production worldwide, as approximately 50% of the world's potentially arable soil is acidic. Because acid soils are such an important constraint to agriculture, understanding the mechanisms and genes conferring resistance to Al toxicity has been a focus of intense research interest in the decade since the last article on crop acid soil tolerance was published in this journal. An impressive amount of progress has been made during that time that has greatly increased our understanding of the diversity of Al resistance genes and mechanisms, how resistance gene expression is regulated and triggered by Al and Al-induced signals, and how the proteins encoded by these genes function and are regulated. This review examines the state of our understanding of the physiological, genetic, and molecular bases for crop Al tolerance, looking at the novel Al resistance genes and mechanisms that have been identified over the past ten years. Additionally, it examines how the integration of molecular and genetic analyses of crop Al resistance is starting to be exploited for the improvement of crop plants grown on acid soils via both molecular-assisted breeding and biotechnology approaches.


ALMT; MATE; aluminum exclusion; aluminum resistance; aluminum tolerance; root organic acid exudation

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