Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Findings may advance iron-rich, cadmium-free crops

Date:
June 11, 2014
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
With reports of toxic, cadmium-tainted rice in China, a new study describes a protein that transports metals in certain plants and holds promise for developing iron-rich but cadmium-free crops. Iron and cadmium are both found in soil and are interchangeably taken up by iron transporters in plants. Pollution and heavy fertilizer use have increased soil cadmium levels in China, for example. In humans, cadmium can damage internal organs and cause cancer. At the same time, iron is an essential nutrient for plants and humans. Iron deficiency affects 30 percent of the world’s population.

With news reports of toxic, cadmium-tainted rice in China, a new study describes a protein that transports metals in certain plants and holds promise for developing iron-rich but cadmium-free crops.

Iron and cadmium are both found in soil and are interchangeably taken up by iron transporters in plants. Pollution and heavy fertilizer use have increased soil cadmium levels in China, for example. In humans, cadmium can damage internal organs and cause cancer. At the same time, iron is an essential nutrient for plants and humans. Iron deficiency affects 30 percent of the world’s population, particularly in developing countries.

The Cornell-led study, published in The Plant Cell, describes an important role of a protein that transports nutrients – OPT3 – in maintaining balance of the essential micronutrient iron in Arabidopsis, small plants related to cabbage and mustard that are used as models for studying plant biology.

OPT3 function in plants was previously unknown. The new work finds that OPT3 transports iron and is involved in signaling iron concentrations – from leaves to roots – to regulate how much iron from the soil is needed by the plant. This function allows the plant to partition cadmium away from the edible portions of plants, including seeds (grain).

“One would hope that this transporter can be used to produce iron-fortified rice and other grain crops one day,” said Olena Vatamaniuk, associate professor of crop and soil sciences, and the paper’s senior author. “Our work suggests that manipulation of the expression of OPT3 can provide promising avenues for targeted biofortification strategies directed at increasing iron density, while omitting cadmium, in the edible portions of crops.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Z. Zhai, S. R. Gayomba, H.-i. Jung, N. K. Vimalakumari, M. Pineros, E. Craft, M. A. Rutzke, J. Danku, B. Lahner, T. Punshon, M. L. Guerinot, D. E. Salt, L. V. Kochian, O. K. Vatamaniuk. OPT3 Is a Phloem-Specific Iron Transporter That Is Essential for Systemic Iron Signaling and Redistribution of Iron and Cadmium in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell, 2014; DOI: 10.1105/tpc.114.123737

Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Findings may advance iron-rich, cadmium-free crops." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611170758.htm>.
Cornell University. (2014, June 11). Findings may advance iron-rich, cadmium-free crops. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611170758.htm
Cornell University. "Findings may advance iron-rich, cadmium-free crops." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140611170758.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins