Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 1, 2006
Publication Date: June 1, 2006
Citation: Nakata, P.A. 2006. Developing strategies to improve the nutritional quality and production of plant foods through manipulation of calcium oxalate formation. International Symposium in Memory of Vincent R. Franceschi. Plant Cell: Structure-Function Relations. p. 17. Technical Abstract: The production of oxalate commonly occurs in numerous organisms. Oxalate negatively affects human health by acting as an antinutrient affecting calcium bioavailability and/or contributing to the pathological condition of urinary stone formation where it is a primary component. In some microbes, oxalate production is thought to function in pathogenesis, competition, nutrient acquisition, and tolerance to toxins (e.g., metals). In plants oxalate formation plays roles in calcium regulation, defense, and metal tolerance. Despite the widespread occurrence and importance of oxalate in nature, our understanding of its formation and function is still incomplete. To gain insight into the mechanisms regulating oxalate biosynthesis and calcium oxalate formation we have conducted mutant screens in both microbial and plant systems. Our recent findings are starting to provide a glimpse into the process of oxalate biosynthesis and calcium oxalate crystal formation. Characterization of plants with altered calcium oxalate content supports the feasibility of genetically manipulating oxalate content. Potential application of this ability toward improving the nutritional quality and production of plant foods will be discussed.