Expression differences for genes involved in lignin, glutathione and sulphate metabolism in response to cadmium in Arabidopsis thaliana and the related Zn/Cd-hyperaccumulator Thlaspi caerulescens

Authors

  • JUDITH E. VAN DE MORTEL,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, the Netherlands,
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  • HENK SCHAT,

    1. Ecology and Physiology of Plants, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, de Boelelaan 1087, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands,
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  • PERRY D. MOERLAND,

    1. Bioinformatics Laboratory, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 22660, 1100 DD Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and
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  • EMIEL VER LOREN VAN THEMAAT,

    1. Bioinformatics Laboratory, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 22660, 1100 DD Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and
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  • SJOERD VAN DER ENT,

    1. Plant-Microbe Interactions, Institute of Environmental Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, PO Box 800.84, 3508 TB Utrecht, the Netherlands
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  • HETTY BLANKESTIJN,

    1. Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, the Netherlands,
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  • ARTAK GHANDILYAN,

    1. Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, the Netherlands,
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  • STYLIANI TSIATSIANI,

    1. Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, the Netherlands,
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  • MARK G.M. AARTS

    1. Laboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University, Arboretumlaan 4, 6703 BD Wageningen, the Netherlands,
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M. G. M. Aarts. Fax: +31 317 483146; e-mail: mark.aarts@wur.nl

ABSTRACT

Cadmium (Cd) is a widespread, naturally occurring element present in soil, rock, water, plants and animals. Cd is a non-essential element for plants and is toxic at higher concentrations. Transcript profiles of roots of Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) and Thlaspi caerulescens plants exposed to Cd and zinc (Zn) are examined, with the main aim to determine the differences in gene expression between the Cd-tolerant Zn-hyperaccumulator T. caerulescens and the Cd-sensitive non-accumulator Arabidopsis. This comparative transcriptional analysis emphasized the role of genes involved in lignin, glutathione and sulphate metabolism. Furthermore the transcription factors MYB72 and bHLH100 were studied for their involvement in metal homeostasis, as they showed an altered expression after exposure to Cd. The Arabidopsis myb72 knockout mutant was more sensitive to excess Zn or iron (Fe) deficiency than wild type, while Arabidopsis transformants overexpressing bHLH100 showed increased tolerance to high Zn and nickel (Ni) compared to wild-type plants, confirming their role in metal homeostasis in Arabidopsis.

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