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Science. 2006 Nov 24;314(5803):1295-8. Epub 2006 Nov 2.

Localization of iron in Arabidopsis seed requires the vacuolar membrane transporter VIT1.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA.


Iron deficiency is a major human nutritional problem wherever plant-based diets are common. Using synchrotron x-ray fluorescence microtomography to directly visualize iron in Arabidopsis seeds, we show that iron is localized primarily to the provascular strands of the embryo. This localization is completely abolished when the vacuolar iron uptake transporter VIT1 is disrupted. Vacuolar iron storage is also critical for seedling development because vit1-1 seedlings grow poorly when iron is limiting. We have uncovered a fundamental aspect of seed biology that will ultimately aid the development of nutrient-rich seed, benefiting both human health and agricultural productivity.

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