Characterisation of putative transporters maintaining iron homeostasis in symbiotic soybeans

Joanne Castelli

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] Nitrogen fixation is a feature of the symbiotic association between legumes and rhizobia, which occurs within the symbiosomes of root nodules and involves the conversion of atmospheric N2 to ammonia to be used by the plant in exchange for carbon compounds. Exchange of other nutrients is controlled by plant-synthesised proteins on the symbiosome membrane. Iron is a component of symbiotically important proteins, so is essential for nitrogen fixation. Low soil iron leads to decreased plant yields, whilst in other environments plants may accumulate iron to toxic levels. Knowledge of iron acquisition, transport and storage mechanisms is important to elucidate the role of iron transporters in the maintenance of iron homeostasis in the plant. This study provides evidence that iron has a profound effect in the Bradyrhizobium japonicum-Glycine max symbiosis on the development of the nodule, and on the development of the symbiotic soybean plant itself. cDNAs encoding four putative iron transporters in soybean; GmDmt1, GmYSL1, GmCCC1;1 and GmCCC1;2, were identified, isolated and characterised in this study. GmDmt1 is localised to the symbiosome membrane. Expression of GmDmt1 occurs in nodules, roots and leaves and increases in response to iron starvation. GmDmt1 rescues growth and enhances 55Fe(II) uptake in the iron transport deficient yeast strain fet3fet4, with uptake following Michaelis-Menten kinetics, resembling the situation in isolated symbiosomes. Competition experiments using fet3fet4 indicated that GmDmt1 is able to transport other divalent cations, including zinc, copper and manganese, and is also able to complement a zinc transport deficient yeast mutant. ... These results suggest the divalent metal transporter GmDmt1, the putative iron chelate transporter GmYSL1 and the putative vacuolar iron transporters GmCCC1;1 and GmCCC1;2 act together to maintain iron homeostasis in symbiotic soybeans. The possible interactions and regulation of these proteins and their roles in the acquisition, transport and utilisation of iron in symbiotic soybeans are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2006


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