Associate Prof. Yanshan Chen published a research paper in Environmental Science & Technology. (2019, 53(18), 10636−10644)
Arsenic-hyperaccumulator Pteris vittata is efficient in As accumulation and has been used in phytoremediation of As-contaminated soils. Arsenate (AsV) is the predominant As species in aerobic soils and is taken up by plants via phosphate transporters (Pht) including P. vittata. In this work, we cloned the PvPht1;3 full length coding sequence from P. vittata and investigated its role in As accumulation by yeast and plants. PvPht1;3 complemented a yeast P uptake mutant strain and showed a stronger affinity and transport capacity to AsV than PvPht1;2. In transgenic tobacco, PvPht1;3 enhanced AsV absorption and translocation, increasing As accumulation in the shoots under both hydroponic and soil experiments. On the basis of the expression patterns via qRT-PCR, PvPht1;3 was strongly induced by P deficiency but not As exposure. To further understand its expression pattern, transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana and soybean expressing the GUS reporter gene, driven by PvPht1;3 promoter, were produced. The GUS staining showed that the reporter gene was mainly expressed in the stele cells, indicating that PvPht1;3 was expressed in stele cells and was likely involved in P/As translocation. Taken together, the data suggested that PvPht1;3 was a high-affinity AsV transporter and was probably responsible for efficient As translocation in P. vittata. Our results suggest that expressing PvPht1;3 enhances As translocation and accumulation in plants, thereby improving phytoremediation of As-contaminated soils.