Managing the manganese: molecular mechanisms of manganese transport and homeostasis


  • Jon K. Pittman

    Corresponding author
    1. Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, 3.614 Stopford Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK
      Author for correspondence: Jon K. Pittman Tel: +44 161 275 1584 Fax: +44 161 275 3938 Email:
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Author for correspondence: Jon K. Pittman Tel: +44 161 275 1584 Fax: +44 161 275 3938 Email:


Manganese (Mn) is an essential metal nutrient for plants. Recently, some of the genes responsible for transition metal transport in plants have been identified; however, only relatively recently have Mn2+ transport pathways begun to be identified at the molecular level. These include transporters responsible for Mn accumulation into the cell and release from various organelles, and for active sequestration into endomembrane compartments, particularly the vacuole and the endoplasmic reticulum. Several transporter gene families have been implicated in Mn2+ transport, including cation/H+ antiporters, natural resistance-associated macrophage protein (Nramp) transporters, zinc-regulated transporter/iron-regulated transporter (ZRT/IRT1)-related protein (ZIP) transporters, the cation diffusion facilitator (CDF) transporter family, and P-type ATPases. The identification of mutants with altered Mn phenotypes can allow the identification of novel components in Mn homeostasis. In addition, the characterization of Mn hyperaccumulator plants can increase our understanding of how plants can adapt to excess Mn, and ultimately allow the identification of genes that confer this stress tolerance. The identification of genes responsible for Mn2+ transport has substantially improved our understanding of plant Mn homeostasis.