Put the metal to the petal: metal uptake and transport throughout plants

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2006 Jun;9(3):322-30. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2006.03.015. Epub 2006 Apr 17.


Compared to other organisms, plants have expanded families of transporters that are involved in the uptake and efflux of metals. Fortunately, in many cases, the examination of double mutants has been sufficient to overcome the challenge of studying functionally redundant gene families. Plants that lack two heavy-metal-transporting P-type ATPase family members (HMA2 and HMA4) reveal a function for these transporters in Zn translocation from roots to shoots. Likewise, the phenotype of plants that lack two natural resistance associated macrophage protein (NRAMP) homologs (NRAMP3 and NRAMP4) implicate these metal uptake proteins in the mobilization of vacuolar Fe stores during seed germination. Most families of metal transporters are ubiquitous but the Yellow Stripe1-Like (YSL) family is plant specific and YSL family members have been implicated in the transport of metals that are complexed with a plant specific chelator called nicotianamine (NA).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Metals / metabolism*
  • Multigene Family
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Metals
  • Plant Proteins