Characterization of the Arabidopsis metallothionein gene family

Tissue-specific expression and induction during senescence and in response to copper

Woei-Jiun Guo, Weenun Bundithya, Peter B. Goldsbrough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

174 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

• Expression and regulation of Arabidopsis metallothionein (MT) genes were investigated to examine the functions of MTs in plants. • To examine the tissue-specific expression of MT genes, GUS reporter gene activity driven by promoters of MT1a, MT2a, MT2b and MT3 was analysed in transgenic plants. • MT1a and MT2b are expressed in the phloem of all organs and are copper (Cu)-inducible; MT2a and MT3, by contrast, are expressed predominantly in mesophyll cells and are also induced by Cu in young leaves and at root tips. Expression of MT genes is highly induced by Cu in trichomes and increases during senescence. Expression of MT4 genes is restricted to seeds. • We propose that plant MTs have distinct functions in heavy metal homeostasis, especially for Cu: MT1a and MT2b are involved in the distribution of Cu via the phloem, while MT2a and MT3 chaperone excess metals in mesophyll cells and root tips. These functional capabilities may allow MTs to play a role in mobilization of metal ions from senescing leaves and the sequestration of excess metal ions in trichomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-381
Number of pages13
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume159
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Aug 1

Fingerprint

Metallothionein
metallothionein
Arabidopsis
Mesophyll Cells
Trichomes
Phloem
Copper
Meristem
copper
Metals
metal ions
Gene Expression
root tips
mesophyll
trichomes
phloem
Ions
Genes
genes
Genetically Modified Plants

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

Cite this

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Characterization of the Arabidopsis metallothionein gene family : Tissue-specific expression and induction during senescence and in response to copper. / Guo, Woei-Jiun; Bundithya, Weenun; Goldsbrough, Peter B.

In: New Phytologist, Vol. 159, No. 2, 01.08.2003, p. 369-381.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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