Iron deficiency is among the most common nutritional disorders in plants. Low iron supply causes decreased root growth and even plant death. However, there are no reports about the specific pathways that lead Fe-deficient roots to senescence and death. To investigate the molecular mechanisms that regulate rice roots response to Fe-deficiency, rice seedlings were grown for 3, 6 and 9 days in the presence or absence of Fe. Sequences of 28 induced genes in rice roots under Fe-deficiency were identified by representational difference analysis (RDA). About 40% of these sequences have been previously reported as senescence-related. Differential expression of selected genes was confirmed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis. Classical senescence-related sequences, such as MYB and WRKY transcription factors, cysteine protease, ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, lipid transfer protein, fatty acid hydroxylase, β-glucosidase and cytochrome P450 oxydoreductase were identified. Fe-deficiency also resulted in decreased dry weight, increased lipid peroxidation (detected by TBA and histochemical methods) as well as evident membrane damage in Fe-deficient roots. Taken together, the results indicate that Fe-deficiency in roots is linked to typical senescence pathways, associated with lipid peroxidation.
Plant Cell Reports (2008) 27 (1) 183-195 [doi: 10.1007/s00299-007-0432-6]