Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Findings may advance iron-rich, cadmium-free crops

12.06.2014

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.”

Cornell University has television, ISDN and dedicated Skype/Google+ Hangout studios available for media interviews. For additional information, see this Cornell Chronicle story.

Melissa Osgood | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.cornell.edu

Further reports about: Arabidopsis Iron Skype countries crop crops essential fertilizer function micronutrient models organs seeds

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Earliest modern human sequenced
22.10.2014 | Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

nachricht Cause of Ageing Remains Elusive
22.10.2014 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Comparing Apples and Oranges? A Colloquium on International Comparative Urban Research

22.10.2014 | Event News

Battery Conference April 2015 in Aachen

16.10.2014 | Event News

Experts discuss new developments in the field of stem cell research and cell therapy

10.10.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Earliest modern human sequenced

22.10.2014 | Life Sciences

Continuous slab caster from Siemens receives FAC from Maanshan

22.10.2014 | Press release

'Shrinking goats' another indicator that climate change affects animal size

22.10.2014 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>