ALS3 encodes a phloem-localized ABC transporter-like protein that is required for aluminum tolerance in Arabidopsis

Plant J. 2005 Feb;41(3):353-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2004.02306.x.


Aluminum (Al) toxicity in acid soils is a worldwide agricultural problem that severely limits crop productivity through inhibition of root growth. Previously, Arabidopsis mutants with increased Al sensitivity were isolated in order to identify genes important for Al tolerance in plants. One mutant, als3, exhibited extreme root growth inhibition in the presence of Al, suggesting that this mutation negatively impacts a gene required for Al tolerance. Map-based cloning of the als3-1 mutation resulted in the isolation of a novel gene that encodes a previously undescribed ABC transporter-like protein, which is highly homologous to a putative bacterial metal resistance protein, ybbM. Northern analysis for ALS3 expression revealed that it is found in all organs examined, which is consistent with the global nature of Al sensitivity displayed by als3, and that expression increases in roots following Al treatment. Based on GUS fusion and in situ hybridization analyses, ALS3 is primarily expressed in leaf hydathodes and the phloem throughout the plant, along with the root cortex following Al treatment. Immunolocalization indicates that ALS3 predominantly accumulates in the plasma membrane of cells that express ALS3. From our results, it appears that ALS3 encodes an ABC transporter-like protein that is required for Al resistance/tolerance and may function to redistribute accumulated Al away from sensitive tissues in order to protect the growing root from the toxic effects of Al.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Aluminum / metabolism
  • Aluminum / pharmacology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / drug effects*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Gene Expression
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plant Roots / drug effects
  • Plant Roots / metabolism


  • ALS3 protein, Arabidopsis
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Aluminum