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Plant Physiol. 1995 Apr;107(4):1067-73.

A cadmium-sensitive, glutathione-deficient mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Genetics, University of Melbourne, Australia.


The roots of the cadmium-sensitive mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, cad1-1, become brown in the presence of cadmium. A new cadmium-sensitive mutant affected at a second locus, cad2, has been identified using this phenotype. Genetic analysis has grown that the sensitive phenotype is recessive to the wild type and segregates as a single Mendelian locus. Assays of cadmium accumulation by intact plants indicated that the mutant is deficient in its ability to sequester cadmium. Undifferentiated callus tissue was also cadmium sensitive, suggesting that the mutant phenotype is expressed at the cellular level. The level of cadmium-binding complexes formed in vivo was decreased compared with the wild type and accumulation of phytochelatins was about 10% of that in the wild type. The level of glutathione, the substrate for phytochelatin biosynthesis, in tissues of the mutant was decreased to about 15 to 30% of that in the wild type. Thus, the deficiency in phytochelatin biosynthesis can be explained by a deficiency in glutathione.

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