Molecular regulation of aluminum resistance and sulfur nutrition during root growth

Edith Alarcón-Poblete, Claudio Inostroza-Blancheteau, Miren Alberdi, Zed Rengel, Marjorie Reyes-Díaz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Main conclusion: Aluminum toxicity and sulfate deprivation both regulate microRNA395 expression, repressing its low-affinity sulfate transporter (SULTR2;1) target. Sulfate deprivation also induces the high-affinity sulfate transporter gene (SULTR12), allowing enhanced sulfate uptake. Few studies about the relationships between sulfate, a plant nutrient, and aluminum, a toxic ion, are available; hence, the molecular and physiological processes underpinning this interaction are poorly understood. The Al–sulfate interaction occurs in acidic soils, whereby relatively high concentrations of trivalent toxic aluminum (Al3+) may hamper root growth, limiting uptake of nutrients, including sulfur (S). On the other side, Al3+ may be detoxified by complexation with sulfate in the acid soil solution as well as in the root-cell vacuoles. In this review, we focus on recent insights into the mechanisms governing plant responses to Al toxicity and its relationship with sulfur nutrition, emphasizing the role of phytohormones, microRNAs, and ion transporters in higher plants. It is known that Al3+ disturbs gene expression and enzymes involved in biosynthesis of S-containing cysteine in root cells. On the other hand, Al3+ may induce ethylene biosynthesis, enhance reactive oxygen species production, alter phytohormone transport, trigger root growth inhibition and promote sulfate uptake under S deficiency. MicroRNA395, regulated by both Al toxicity and sulfate deprivation, represses its low-affinity Sulfate Transporter 2;1 (SULTR2;1) target. In addition, sulfate deprivation induces High Affinity Sulfate Transporters (HAST; SULTR1;2), improving sulfate uptake from low-sulfate soil solutions. Identification of new microRNAs and cloning of their target genes are necessary for a better understanding of the role of molecular regulation of plant resistance to Al stress and sulfate deprivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27–39
JournalPlanta
Volume247
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Al transporters
  • Gene regulation
  • Ion toxicity
  • MicroRNA
  • Nutrient deficiency
  • S transporters

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    Alarcón-Poblete, E., Inostroza-Blancheteau, C., Alberdi, M., Rengel, Z., & Reyes-Díaz, M. (2018). Molecular regulation of aluminum resistance and sulfur nutrition during root growth. Planta, 247(1), 27–39. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-017-2805-6