|Clemens, S; Weber, M: The essential role of coumarin secretion for Fe acquisition from alkaline soil, Plant Signaling & Behavior , e1114197 (2016), doi:10.1080/15592324.2015.1114197 [Link]|
Plant productivity is limited by the scarcity of the essential micronutrient iron particularly in alkaline soils. The root secretion of phenolics has long been recognized as a component of the acidification-reduction strategy to acquire iron (strategy I). However, very little molecular insight into this process was available until recently several research groups independently discovered the important role of coumarins for the growth of Arabidopsis thaliana under Fe-limited conditions. Genome-wide analyses of iron deficiency responses, mutant screening and metabolomics experiments all converged on the finding that the synthesis and root exudation of scopoletin, esculetin and other coumarins is essential for iron uptake from substrates with low iron availability. Here we describe the evidence supporting this conclusion and discuss important questions that now have to be addressed in order to better understand the mechanistic basis of coumarin-dependent iron uptake and its significance within the plant kingdom.
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