HMA P-type ATPases are the major mechanism for root-to-shoot Cd translocation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Chong Kum Edwin Wong, Christopher S Cobbett
New Phytologist 2009, 181 (1): 71-78
The Zn/Cd-transporting ATPases, HMA2 and HMA4, essential for root-to-shoot Zn translocation, are also able to transport Cd. Phytochelatins (PCs) are a major mechanism of Cd detoxification through the sequestration of PC-Cd complexes in vacuoles. The roles of HMA2 and HMA4 in root-to-shoot Cd translocation and Cd tolerance were investigated in the PC-deficient, cad1-3 mutant and CAD1 backgrounds. Six lines, with all possible combinations of hma2, hma4 and cad1 mutations, were constructed. The lines were tested for Cd-sensitivity on agar medium, and radioactive (109)Cd was used to measure Cd uptake and translocation from root to shoot over periods of up to 6 d. In hma4 and hma2,hma4, but not hma2, root-to-shoot Cd translocation was decreased to about 60 and 2%, respectively, of that in the wild-type. Cd sensitivity increased approximately twofold in the hma2,hma4 mutant in both CAD1 and cad1 backgrounds. PC deficiency resulted in an increase in shoot Cd concentrations. The near-complete abolition of root-to-shoot Cd translocation resulting from the loss of function of HMA2 and HMA4 demonstrates they are the major mechanism for Cd translocation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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