Abscisic acid alleviates iron deficiency by promoting root iron reutilization and transport from root to shoot in Arabidopsis

Gui Jie Lei, Xiao Fang Zhu, Zhi Wei Wang, Fang Dong, Ning Yu Dong, Shao Jian Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)


Abscisic acid (ABA) has been demonstrated to be involved in iron (Fe) homeostasis, but the underlying mechanism is largely unknown. Here, we found that Fe deficiency induced ABA accumulation rapidly (within 6h) in the roots of Arabidopsis. Exogenous ABA at 0.5μM decreased the amount of root apoplastic Fe bound to pectin and hemicellulose, and increased the shoot Fe content significantly, thus alleviating Fe deficiency-induced chlorosis. Exogenous ABA promoted the secretion of phenolics to release apoplastic Fe and up-regulated the expression of AtNRAMP3 to enhance reutilization of Fe stored in the vacuoles, leading to a higher level of soluble Fe and lower ferric-chelate reductase (FCR) activity in roots. Treatment with ABA also led to increased Fe concentrations in the xylem sap, partially because of the up-regulation of AtFRD3, AtYSL2 and AtNAS1, genes related to long-distance transport of Fe. Exogenous ABA could not alleviate the chlorosis of abi5 mutant resulting from the significantly low expression of AtYSL2 and low transport of Fe from root to shoot. Taken together, our data support the conclusion that ABA is involved in the reutilization and transport of Fe from root to shoot under Fe deficiency conditions in Arabidopsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-863
Number of pages12
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • ABA-responsive elements
  • Apoplast
  • Cell wall
  • Long-distance transport
  • Phenolics
  • abi5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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