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Aluminum-resistant Arabidopsis mutants that exhibit altered patterns of aluminum accumulation and organic acid release from roots

Larsen, P.B., Degenhardt, J., Tai, C.Y., Stenzler, L.M., Howell, S.H., Kochian, L.V.
Plant physiology 1998 v.117 no.1 pp. 9-18
Arabidopsis thaliana, seedlings, roots, aluminum, phytotoxicity, quantitative analysis, chelating agents, citric acid, malic acid, pyruvic acid, exudation, mutants, genetic techniques and protocols, loci, genetic variation, callose, developmental stages, plant anatomy, chemical constituents of plants, chromosome mapping, stress response
Al-resistant (alr) mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana were isolated and characterized to gain a better understanding of the genetic and physiological mechanisms of Al resistance. alr mutants were identified on the basis of enhanced root growth in the presence of levels of Al that strongly inhibited root growth in wild-type seedlings. Genetic analysis of the alr mutants showed that Al resistance was semidominant, and chromosome mapping of the mutants with microsatellite and random amplified polymorphic DNA markers indicated that the mutants mapped to two sites in the Arabidopsis genome: one locus on chromosome 1 (alr-108, alr-128, alr-131, and alr-139) and another on chromosome 4 (alr-104). Al accumulation in roots of mutant seedlings was studied by staining with the fluorescent Al-indicator dye morin and quantified via inductively coupled argon plasma mass spectrometry. It was found that the alr mutants accumulated lower levels of Al in the root tips compared with wild type. The possibility that the mutants released Al-chelating organic acids was examined. The mutants that mapped together on chromosome 1 released greater amounts of citrate or malate (as well as pyruvate) compared with wild type, suggesting that Al exclusion from roots of these alr mutants results from enhanced organic acid exudation. Roots of alr-104, on the other hand, did not exhibit increased release of malate or citrate, but did alkalinize the rhizosphere to a greater extent than wild-type roots. A detailed examination of Al resistance in this mutant is described in an accompanying paper (J. Degenhardt, P.B. Larsen, S.H. Howell, L.V. Kochian [1998] Plant Physiol 117: 19-27).