The genetics of phytate and phosphate accumulation in seeds and leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana, using natural variation

Theor Appl Genet. 2003 May;106(7):1234-43. doi: 10.1007/s00122-002-1177-9. Epub 2002 Dec 18.


Phytate (myo-inositol-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexakisphosphate, InsP6) is the most abundant P-containing compound in plants, and an important anti-nutritional factor, due to its ability to complex essential micro-nutrients, e.g. iron and zinc. Analysis of natural variation for InsP6 and Pi accumulation in seeds and leaves for a large number of accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana, using a novel method for InsP6 detection, revealed a wide range of variation in InsP6 and Pi levels, varying from 7.0 mg to 23.1 mg of InsP6 per gram of seed. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of InsP6 and Pi levels in seeds and leaves, using an existing recombinant inbred line population, was performed in order to identify a gene(s) that is (are) involved in the regulation of InsP6 accumulation. Five genomic regions affecting the quantity of the InsP6 and Pi in seeds and leaves were identified. One of them, located on top of chromosome 3, affects all four traits. This QTL appears as the major locus responsible for the observed variation in InsP6 and Pi contents in the L er/Cvi RIL population; the L er allele decreases the content of both InsP6 and Pi in seeds and in leaves. The InsP6/Pi locus was further fine-mapped to a 99-kb region, containing 13 open reading frames. The maternal inheritance of the QTL and the positive correlation between InsP6 and total Pi levels both in seeds and in leaves indicate that the difference in InsP6 level between L er and Cvi is likely to be caused by a difference in transport rather than by an alteration in the biosynthesis. Therefore, we consider the vacuolar membrane ATPase subunit G, located in the region of interest, as the most likely candidate gene for InsP6/Pi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Phosphates / metabolism*
  • Phytic Acid / metabolism*
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Seeds / metabolism*


  • DNA Primers
  • Phosphates
  • Phytic Acid