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Book Sections Year : 2023

Iron Availability and Homeostasis in Plants: A Review of Responses, Adaptive Mechanisms, and Signaling


Iron is an essential element for all living organisms, playing a major role in plant biochemistry as a redox catalyst based on iron redox properties. Iron is the fourth most abundant element of the Earth’s crust, but its uptake by plants is complex because it is often in insoluble forms that are not easily accessible for plants to use. The physical and chemical speciation of iron, as well as rhizosphere activity, are key factors controlling the bioavailability of Fe. Iron can be under reduced (Fe2+) or oxidized (Fe3+) ionic forms, adsorbed onto mineral surfaces, forming complexes with organic molecules, precipitated to form poorly crystalline hydroxides to highly crystalline iron oxides, or included in crystalline Fe-rich mineral phases. Plants must thus adapt to a complex and changing iron environment, and their response is finely regulated by multiple signaling pathways initiated by a diversity of stimulus perceptions. Higher plants possess two separate strategies to uptake iron from rhizosphere soil: the chelation strategy and the reduction strategy in grass and non-grass plants, respectively. Molecular actors involved in iron uptake and mobilization through the plant have been characterized for both strategies. All these processes that contribute to iron homeostasis in plants are highly regulated in response to iron availability by downstream signaling responses, some of which are characteristic signaling signatures of iron dynamics, while others are shared with other environmental stimuli. Recent research has thus revealed key transcription factors, cis-acting elements, post-translational regulators, and other molecular mechanisms controlling these genes or their encoded proteins in response to iron availability. In addition, the most recent research is increasingly highlighting the crosstalk between iron homeostasis and nutrient response regulation. These regulatory processes help to avoid plant iron concentrations building up to potential cell functioning disruptions that could adversely affect plant fitness. Indeed, when iron is in excess in the plant, it can lead to the production and accumulation of dangerous reactive oxygen species and free radicals (H2O2, HO•, O2•−, HO•2) that can cause considerable damages to most cellular components. To cope with iron oxidative stress, plants have developed defense systems involving the complementary action of antioxidant enzymes and molecular antioxidants, safe iron-storage mechanisms, and appropriate morphological adaptations.
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insu-04048570 , version 1 (28-03-2023)



Nolenn Kermeur, Mathieu Pédrot, Francisco Cabello-Hurtado. Iron Availability and Homeostasis in Plants: A Review of Responses, Adaptive Mechanisms, and Signaling. Ivan Couée (Ed.). Plant Abiotic Stress Signaling, 2642, Springer US, pp.49-81, 2023, Methods in Molecular Biology, n°2642, ⟨10.1007/978-1-0716-3044-0_3⟩. ⟨insu-04048570⟩
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