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Cesium toxicity in Arabidopsis

Hampton, C. R., Bowen, H. C., Broadley, M. R., Hammond, J. P., Mead, A., Payne, K. A., Pritchard, J. and White, P. J. (2004) Cesium toxicity in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 136 (3). pp. 3824-3837. ISSN 0032-0889

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1104/pp.104.046672


Cesium (Cs) is chemically similar to potassium (K). However, although K is an essential element, Cs is toxic to plants. Two contrasting hypotheses to explain Cs toxicity have been proposed: (1) extracellular Cs+ prevents K+ uptake and, thereby, induces K starvation; and (2) intracellular Cs+ interacts with vital K+-binding sites in proteins, either competitively or noncompetitively, impairing their activities. We tested these hypotheses with Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Increasing the Cs concentration in the agar (Cs(agar)) on which Arabidopsis were grown reduced shoot growth. Increasing the K concentration in the agar (K(agad)) increased the Cs(agar) at which Cs toxicity was observed. However, although increasing Cs(agar) reduced shoot K concentration (K(shoot)), the decrease in shoot growth appeared unrelated to K(shoot) per se. Furthermore, the changes in gene expression in Cs-intoxicated plants differed from those of K-starved plants, suggesting that Cs intoxication was not perceived genetically solely as K starvation. In addition to reducing K(shoot) increasing Cs(agar) also increased shoot Cs concentration (Cs(shoot)), but shoot growth appeared unrelated to Cs(shoot) per se. The relationship between shoot growth and Cs(shoot)/Kt(shoot) suggested that, at a nontoxic Cs(shoot) growth was determined by K(shoot) but that the growth of Cs-intoxicated plants was related to the Cs(shoot)/K(shoot) quotient. This is consistent with Cs intoxication resulting from competition between K+ and Cs+ for K+-binding sites on essential proteins.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Department of Bio-Engineering
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Food Security
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:33866
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cesium Cs toxicity Arabidopsis uptake transport gene expression potassium transcriptomics microarray affymetrix mutant
Publisher:American Society of Plant Biologists

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