Arabidopsis thaliana expresses a second functional phytochelatin synthase

A C Cazalé, S Clemens
FEBS Letters 2001 October 26, 507 (2): 215-9
Phytochelatins represent a major detoxifying pathway for heavy metals in plants and many other organisms. The Arabidopsis thaliana CAD1 (=AtPCS1) gene encodes a phytochelatin synthase and cad1 mutants are phytochelatin deficient and cadmium hypersensitive. The Arabidopsis genome contains a highly homologous gene, AtPCS2, of which expression and function were studied in order to understand the apparent non-redundancy of the two genes. Low constitutive AtPCS2 expression is detected in all plant organs analyzed. The AtPCS2 gene encodes a functional phytochelatin synthase as shown by expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the complementation of a Schizosaccharomyces pombe phytochelatin synthase knockout strain.

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