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Plant Physiol. 2003 Jun;132(2):796-804. Epub 2003 Apr 10.

Dual regulation of the Arabidopsis high-affinity root iron uptake system by local and long-distance signals.

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Biochimie et Physiologie Moléculaire des Plantes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (Unité Mixte de Recherche 5004)/Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique/Agro-M/Université Montpellier II, 2 place Viala, France.


Regulation of the root high-affinity iron uptake system by whole-plant signals was investigated at the molecular level in Arabidopsis, through monitoring FRO2 and IRT1 gene expression. These two genes encode the root ferric-chelate reductase and the high-affinity iron transporter, respectively, involved in the iron deficiency-induced uptake system. Recovery from iron-deficient conditions and modulation of apoplastic iron pools indicate that iron itself plays a major role in the regulation of root iron deficiency responses at the mRNA and protein levels. Split-root experiments show that the expression of IRT1 and FRO2 is controlled both by a local induction from the root iron pool and through a systemic pathway involving a shoot-borne signal, both signals being integrated to tightly control production of the root iron uptake proteins. We also show that IRT1 and FRO2 are expressed during the day and down-regulated at night and that this additional control is overruled by iron starvation, indicating that the nutritional status prevails on the diurnal regulation. Our work suggests, for the first time to our knowledge, that like in grasses, the root iron acquisition in strategy I plants may also be under diurnal regulation. On the basis of the new molecular insights provided in this study and given the strict coregulation of IRT1 and FRO2 observed, we present a model of local and long-distance regulation of the root iron uptake system in Arabidopsis.

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