Knockout of a bacterial-type ATP-binding cassette transporter gene, AtSTAR1, results in increased aluminum sensitivity in Arabidopsis

Chao Feng Huang, Naoki Yamaji, Jian Feng Ma

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ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters represent a large family in plants, but the functions of most of these transporters are unknown. Here we report a gene, AtSTAR1, only encoding an ATP-binding domain of a bacterial-type ABC transporter in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). AtSTAR1 is an ortholog of rice (Oryza sativa) OsSTAR1, which has been implicated in aluminum (Al) tolerance. Knockout of AtSTAR1 resulted in increased sensitivity to Al and earlier flowering. Unlike OsSTAR1, AtSTAR1 was expressed in both the roots and shoots and its expression was not induced by Al or other stresses. Investigation of tissue-specific localization of AtSTAR1 through β-glucuronidase fusion revealed that AtSTAR1 was predominantly expressed at outer cell layers of root tips and developing leaves, whose localization is also different from those of OsSTAR1. However, introduction of OsSTAR1 into atstar1 mutant rescued the sensitivity of atstar1 to Al, indicating that AtSTAR1 has a similar function as OsSTAR1. Furthermore, we found that AtSTAR1 may interact with ALS3, a transmembrane-binding domain in Arabidopsis to form a complex because introduction of OsSTAR1, a functional substitute of AtSTAR1, into als3 mutant resulted in the loss of OsSTAR1 protein. All these findings indicate that AtSTAR1 is involved in the basic detoxification of Al in Arabidopsis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1669-1677
Number of pages9
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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