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The barley MATE gene, HvAACT1, increases citrate efflux and Al3+ tolerance when expressed in wheat and barley
Background and Aims Aluminium is toxic in acid soils because the soluble Al3+ inhibits root growth. A mechanism of Al3+ tolerance discovered in many plant species involves the release of organic anions from root apices. The Al3+-activated release of citrate from the root apices of Al3+-tolerant genotypes of barley is controlled by a MATE gene named HvAACT1 that encodes a citrate transport protein located on the plasma membrane. The aim of this study was to investigate whether expressing HvAACT1 with a constitutive promoter in barley and wheat can increase citrate efflux and Al3+ tolerance of these important cereal species.
Methods: HvAACT1 was over-expressed in wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) using the maize ubiquitin promoter. Root apices of transgenic and control lines were analysed for HvAACT1 expression and organic acid efflux. The Al3+ tolerance of transgenic and control lines was assessed in both hydroponic solution and acid soil.
Key Results and Conclusions: Increased HvAACT1 expression in both cereal species was associated with increased citrate efflux from root apices and enhanced Al3+ tolerance, thus demonstrating that biotechnology can complement traditional breeding practices to increase the Al3+ tolerance of important crop plants.
Publication titleAnnals of Botany
Department/SchoolTasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
PublisherOxford Univ Press
Place of publicationGreat Clarendon St, Oxford, England, Ox2 6Dp
Rights statementCopyright 2013 the authors.