Send to

Choose Destination
J Exp Bot. 2019 Aug 19;70(16):4197-4210. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz290.

Keep talking: crosstalk between iron and sulfur networks fine-tunes growth and development to promote survival under iron limitation.

Author information

Division of Plant Sciences, C.S. Bond Life Sciences Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA.
Environmental Biotechnology Laboratory, Department of Biotechnology, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa.
Botanical Institute and Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS), University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
Plant and Microbial Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.
DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa.


Plants are capable of synthesizing all the molecules necessary to complete their life cycle from minerals, water, and light. This plasticity, however, comes at a high energetic cost and therefore plants need to regulate their economy and allocate resources accordingly. Iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters are at the center of photosynthesis, respiration, amino acid, and DNA metabolism. Fe-S clusters are extraordinary catalysts, but their main components (Fe2+ and S2-) are highly reactive and potentially toxic. To prevent toxicity, plants have evolved mechanisms to regulate the uptake, storage, and assimilation of Fe and S. Recent advances have been made in understanding the cellular economy of Fe and S metabolism individually, and growing evidence suggests that there is dynamic crosstalk between Fe and S networks. In this review, we summarize and discuss recent literature on Fe sensing, allocation, use efficiency, and, when pertinent, its relationship to S metabolism. Our future perspectives include a discussion about the open questions and challenges ahead and how the plant nutrition field can come together to approach these questions in a cohesive and more efficient way.


Dynamic cell economy; iron sensing; iron use efficiency; nutrient crosstalk; sulfur homeostasis


Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center