Are rice (Oryza sativa L.) phosphate transporters regulated similarly by phosphate and arsenate? A comprehensive study

Plant Mol Biol. 2014 Jun;85(3):301-16. doi: 10.1007/s11103-014-0186-9. Epub 2014 Apr 12.


Rice is one of the most important staple foods worldwide, but it often contains inorganic arsenic, which is toxic and gives rise to severe health problems. Rice plants take up arsenate As(V) via the phosphate transport pathways, though it is not known how As(V), as compared to phosphate, modifies the expression of phosphate transporters (PTs). Therefore, the impact of As(V) or phosphate (Pi) on the gene expression of PTs and several Pi signaling regulators was investigated. Rice plants were grown on medium containing different As(V) or Pi concentrations. Growth was evaluated and the expression of tested genes was quantified at different time points, using quantitative RT-PCR (qPCR). The As and P content in plants was determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). As(V) elicited diverse and opposite responses of different PTs in roots and shoots, while Pi triggered a more shallow and uniform transcriptional response in several tested genes. Only a restricted set of genes, including PT2, PT3, PT5 and PT13 and two SPX-MFS family members, was particularly responsive to As(V). Despite some common reactions, the responses of the analyzed genes were predominantly ion-specific. The possible reasons and consequences are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arsenates / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Oryza / drug effects
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / metabolism*
  • Phosphate Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Phosphate Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphates / pharmacology*
  • Plant Shoots / genetics
  • Plant Shoots / metabolism
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / metabolism
  • Seedlings / growth & development
  • Seeds
  • Signal Transduction


  • Arsenates
  • Phosphate Transport Proteins
  • Phosphates
  • RNA, Plant