Up-regulation of a magnesium transporter gene osmgt1 is required for conferring aluminum tolerance in rice

Zhi Chang Chen, Naoki Yamaji, Ritsuko Motoyama, Yoshiaki Nagamura, Jian Feng Ma

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137 Citations (Scopus)


Magnesium (Mg)-mediated alleviation of aluminum (Al) toxicity has been observed in a number of plant species, but the mechanisms underlying the alleviation are still poorly understood. When a putative rice (Oryza sativa) Mg transporter gene, Oryza sativa MAGNESIUM TRANSPORTER1 (OsMGT1), was knocked out, the tolerance to Al, but not to cadmium and lanthanum, was decreased. However, this inhibition could be rescued by addition of 10 mM Mg, but not by the same concentration of barium or strontium. OsMGT1 was expressed in both the roots and shoots in the absence of Al, but the expression only in the roots was rapidly up-regulated by Al. Furthermore, the expression did not respond to low pH and other metals including cadmium and lanthanum, and was regulated by an Al-responsive transcription factor, AL RESISTANCE TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR1. An investigation of subcellular localization showed that OsMGT1 was localized to the plasma membrane. A short-term (30 min) uptake experiment with stable isotope 25Mg showed that knockout of OsMGT1 resulted in decreased Mg uptake, but that the uptake in the wild type was enhanced by Al. Mg concentration in the cell sap of the root tips was also increased in the wild-type rice, but not in the knockout lines in the presence of Al. A microarray analysis showed that transcripts of genes related to stress were more up- and down-regulated in the knockout lines. Taken together, our results indicate that OsMGT1 is a transporter for Mg uptake in the roots and that up-regulation of this gene is required for conferring Al tolerance in rice by increasing Mg concentration in the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1624-1633
Number of pages10
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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