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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

2010 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The objectives of this cooperative research project are to increase our understanding of mechanisms of aluminum tolerance, heavy metal transport, and nutritional quality and health-promoting properties of plants.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
1) A combination of joint-association mapping, comparative genomics, and biochemistry approaches will be used to study aluminum tolerance genes we recently cloned in wheat, sorghum and maize from the ALMT and MATE gene families. The information will be used to enhance acid soil tolerance of cereal crops. 2) The molecular physiology of heavy metal transport will be studied in the heavy metal hyperaccumulator, Thlaspi caerulescens. We have identified a number of genes that are candidates for involvement in metal hyperaccumulation in Thlaspi and will study them in more detail to determine if they are indeed, hyperaccumulation genes. These will be used via biotechnology to improve plants for use in remediation of metal-contaminated soils. 3) Recently identified QTL that enhance Fe bioavailability in maize seed will be characterized and a combined genomic, genetic and metabolic approach will be employed to identify the genes underlying the QTL as well as the secondary compounds underlying the enhanced Fe bioavailability.

3. Progress Report
This report documents research conducted under a specific cooperative agreement between ARS and Cornell University, Department of Plant Biology. Progress for this project in 2010 involved the continued characterization of a specialized protein that specifically interact with a previously discovered sorghum Al tolerance protein and may play a role in the function of this tolerance protein. We also identified candidate genes for the very high level of Al tolerance in rice. Finally, we identified both a root and a leaf heavy metal transporter that plays a key role in the extreme heavy metal tolerance and shoot accumulation of cadmium and other toxic heavy metals in the metal hyperaccumulating plant species, Thlaspi caerulescens. Research conducted under this agreement was monitored via regular meetings, emails and teleconferences between the ADODR and the Cooperators at Cornell University.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 07/25/2017
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