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Autophagy, a new way to increase the trace element content of seeds

On a worldwide scale, several billions of people are suffering from deficiencies in essential metals such as iron or zinc. These deficiencies are most often due to nutrient diets based exclusively on plants that provide insufficient intake of essential metals.

Since the seed is the most widely eaten organ, significant efforts are being made to understand how iron and zinc are absorbed at the root level and transported to the seed. However, a large part of the metals stored in seeds comes from recycling from vegetative organs, leaves and stems, which have important needs, especially iron, to catalyse the photosynthetic reactions. Autophagy is a process of recycling intracellular compounds stored in all eukaryotes (fungi, animals and plants).

The work recently published in the Journal of Experimental Botany, based on the elemental analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana (Ladies’ Arabette) mutants by atomic emission spectrometry and on the tracing of a stable iron isotope, shows that autophagy is a crucial part of recycling and transporting iron from the rods and leaves to the seeds. This study, carried out in collaboration between two teams from Labex Saclay Plant Sciences located at the Institute of Integrative Cell Biology (Gif-sur-Yvette) and at the Jean-Pierre Bourgin Institute (Versailles), suggests a new way to improve the trace element content of seeds of food plants.

More information :
Autophagy is essential for optimal translocation of iron to seeds in Arabidopsis
Pottier M, Dumont J, Masclaux-Daubresse C & Thomine,S
Journal of Experimental Botany, ery388,

Contact :
Sébastien Thomine

par Communication - publié le