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[Publication]: Novel PvACR3;2 and PvACR3;3 genes from arsenic-hyperaccumulator Pteris vittata and their roles in manipulating plant arsenic accumulation

Associate Professor Yanshan Chen published a research paper in Journal of Hazardous Materials (2021, 125647)

Arsenite (AsIII) antiporter ACR3 is crucial for arsenic (As) translocation and sequestration in As-hyperaccumulator Pteris vittata, which has potential for phytoremediation of As-contaminated soils. In this study, two new ACR3 genes PvACR3;2 and PvACR3;3 were cloned from P. vittata and studied in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). Both ACR3s mediated AsIII efflux in yeast, decreasing As accumulation and enhancing As tolerance. In addition, PvACR3;2 and PvACR3;3 were expressed in model plant tobacco. Localized on the plasma membrane, PvACR3;2 mediated both AsIII translocation to the shoots and AsIII efflux from the roots in tobacco, resulting in 203−258% increase in shoot As after exposing to 5 μM AsIII under hydroponics. In comparison, localized to the vacuolar membrane, PvACR3;3 sequestrated AsIII in tobacco root vacuoles, leading to 18−20% higher As in the roots and 15−36% lower As in the shoots. Further, based on qRT-PCR, both genes were mainly expressed in P. vittata fronds, indicating PvACR3;2 and PvACR3;3 may play roles in AsIII translocation and sequestration in the fronds. This study provides not only new insights into the functions of new ACR3 genes in P. vittata, but also important gene resources for manipulating As accumulation in plants for phytoremediation and food safety.