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Title: POPEYE intercellular localization mediates cell-specific iron deficiency responses

Plants must tightly regulate iron (Fe) sensing, acquisition, transport, mobilization, and storage to ensure sufficient levels of this essential micronutrient. POPEYE (PYE) is an iron responsive transcription factor that positively regulates the iron deficiency response, while also repressing genes essential for maintaining iron homeostasis. However, little is known about how PYE plays such contradictory roles. Under iron-deficient conditions, pPYE:GFP accumulates in the root pericycle while pPYE:PYE–GFP is localized to the nucleus in all Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) root cells, suggesting that PYE may have cell-specific dynamics and functions. Using scanning fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and cell-specific promoters, we found that PYE–GFP moves between different cells and that the tendency for movement corresponds with transcript abundance. While localization to the cortex, endodermis, and vasculature is required to manage changes in iron availability, vasculature and endodermis localization of PYE–GFP protein exacerbated pye-1 defects and elicited a host of transcriptional changes that are detrimental to iron mobilization. Our findings indicate that PYE acts as a positive regulator of iron deficiency response by regulating iron bioavailability differentially across cells, which may trigger iron uptake from the surrounding rhizosphere and impact root energy metabolism.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Plant Physiology
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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