Functions of two genes in aluminium (Al) stress resistance: Repression of oxidative damage by the AtBCB gene and promotion of efflux of Al ions by the NtGDI1gene

Bunichi Ezaki, Kiyokuni Sasaki, Hideaki Matsumoto, Susumu Nakashima

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The functions of two genes whose expression provides tolerance to aluminium (Al) stress were investigated using plants and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast): the Arabidopsis thaliana blue copper binding gene (AtBCB) and Nicotiana tabacum guanosine diphosphate (GDP) dissociation inhibitor gene (NtGDI1). To determine the localization of these proteins, each gene was fused to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene and introduced into onion epidermal cells. AtBCB was localized to cell membrane region and NtGDI1 to cytoplasm. Transgenic lines over-expressing the AtBCB gene showed constitutive lignin production in whole roots. By contrast, wild-type Arabidopsis (Ler) produced a negligible level of lignin and enhanced lignin production in the root-tip region by Al stress. Compared with Ler, the AtBCB-expressing lines showed a lower deposition of malon dialdehyde after Al stress. Microscopic observation of the Al-treated roots indicated that the deposition of lipid peroxides was clearly low in the area where lignin accumulated. It was proposed that lipid peroxidation caused by Al stress was diminished by the formation of lignin. Expression of the NtGDI1 gene in yeast complemented the temperature-sensitive phenotype of a sec19 mutant at 37°C. This gene also complemented an Al-sensitive phenotype shown by the sec79 mutant at the permissive temperature of 32°C. These results suggested that the yeast Sec19 vesicle transport system has a function in providing basal Al resistance in yeast by the export of Al ions. It was also proposed that overexpression of the NtGDI1 protein activates an Al efflux system that protects Arabidopsis against Al toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2661-2671
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number420
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005



  • Al resistance mechanism
  • Aluminium (Al) ion stress
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • AtBCB gene
  • Lignin
  • NtGDI1 gene
  • Oxidative stress
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Sec19 gene
  • Vesicle transport system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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