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Evolution, and functional analysis of Natural Resistance-Associated Macrophage proteins (NRAMPs) from Theobroma cacao and their role in cadmium accumulation

Ullah, I., Wang, Y., Eide, D. J. and Dunwell, J. M. (2018) Evolution, and functional analysis of Natural Resistance-Associated Macrophage proteins (NRAMPs) from Theobroma cacao and their role in cadmium accumulation. Scientific Reports, 8. 14412. ISSN 2045-2322

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-32819-y

Abstract/Summary

The presence of the toxic metal cadmium (Cd2+) in certain foodstuffs is recognised as a global problem, and there is increasing legislative pressure to reduce the content of Cd in food. The present study was conducted on cacao (Theobroma cacao), the source of chocolate, and one of the crops known to accumulate Cd in certain conditions. There are a range of possible genetic and agronomic methods being tested as a route to such reduction. As part of a gene-based approach, we focused on the Natural Resistance-Associated Macrophage Proteins (NRAMPS), a family of proton/metal transporter proteins that are evolutionarily conserved across all species from bacteria to humans. The plant NRAMP gene family are of particular importance as they are responsible for uptake of the nutritionally vital divalent cations Fe2+, Mn2+, Zn2+, as well as Cd2+. We identified the five NRAMP genes in cacao, sequenced these genes and studied their expression in various organs. We then confirmed the expression patterns in response to variation in nutrient cation availability and addition of Cd2+. Functional analysis by expression in yeast provided evidence that NRAMP5 encoded a protein capable of Cd2+ transport, and suggested this gene as a target for genetic selection/modification.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Crops Research Group
ID Code:79142
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group

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