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      A note on the early transcriptional response in leaves and root of potato plants to cadmium exposure

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          Potato plants can accumulate a high amount of cadmium (Cd) in the tuber when grown in soils rich in Cd. The molecular mechanisms governing Cd accumulation in the potato plant are poorly understood. Here we performed an RNA-sequencing experiment to identify genes differentially expressed in the leaf and root of potato during early stages of Cd exposure. Results did not identify any significant transcriptional response in leaves under 1 or 5 mg kg −1 Cd after 72 h. However, in the roots we did identify 2,846 genes that were significantly differentially expressed after 72 h between plants grown in 5 mg kg −1 Cd and controls. These included genes involved in photosynthesis and autophagy being up-regulated, and genes involved in intracellular transport being down-regulated. This study is the first report on the transcriptome-wide response of potato to Cd stress, providing insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the response.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Near-optimal probabilistic RNA-seq quantification.

          We present kallisto, an RNA-seq quantification program that is two orders of magnitude faster than previous approaches and achieves similar accuracy. Kallisto pseudoaligns reads to a reference, producing a list of transcripts that are compatible with each read while avoiding alignment of individual bases. We use kallisto to analyze 30 million unaligned paired-end RNA-seq reads in <10 min on a standard laptop computer. This removes a major computational bottleneck in RNA-seq analysis.
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            Zinc in plants.

            Zinc (Zn) is an essential component of thousands of proteins in plants, although it is toxic in excess. In this review, the dominant fluxes of Zn in the soil-root-shoot continuum are described, including Zn inputs to soils, the plant availability of soluble Zn(2+) at the root surface, and plant uptake and accumulation of Zn. Knowledge of these fluxes can inform agronomic and genetic strategies to address the widespread problem of Zn-limited crop growth. Substantial within-species genetic variation in Zn composition is being used to alleviate human dietary Zn deficiencies through biofortification. Intriguingly, a meta-analysis of data from an extensive literature survey indicates that a small proportion of the genetic variation in shoot Zn concentration can be attributed to evolutionary processes whose effects manifest above the family level. Remarkable insights into the evolutionary potential of plants to respond to elevated soil Zn have recently been made through detailed anatomical, physiological, chemical, genetic and molecular characterizations of the brassicaceous Zn hyperaccumulators Thlaspi caerulescens and Arabidopsis halleri.
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              Toxic metal accumulation, responses to exposure and mechanisms of tolerance in plants.

              Over the past 200 years emissions of toxic heavy metals have risen tremendously and significantly exceed those from natural sources for practically all metals. Uptake and accumulation by crop plants represents the main entry pathway for potentially health-threatening toxic metals into human and animal food. Of major concern are the metalloids arsenic (As) and selenium (Se), and the metals cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb). This review discusses the molecular mechanisms of toxic metal accumulation in plants and algae, the responses to metal exposure, as well as our understanding of metal tolerance and its evolution. The main emphasis will be on cadmium, which is by far the most widely studied of the non-essential toxic metals/metalloids. Entry via Zn2+, Fe2+, and Ca2+ transporters is the molecular basis of Cd2+ uptake into plant cells. Much less is known about the partitioning of non-essential metals and about the genes underlying the enormous diversity among plants with respect to Cd accumulation in different tissues. Numerous studies have described symptoms and responses of plants upon toxic metal exposure. Mysterious are primary targets of toxicity, the degree of specificity of responses, the sensing and the signaling events that lead to transcriptional activation. All plants apparently possess a basal tolerance of toxic non-essential metals. For Cd and As, this is largely dependent on the phytochelatin pathway. Not understood is the molecular biology of Cd hypertolerance in certain plant species such as the metallophytes Arabidopsis halleri or Thlaspi caerulescens.

                Author and article information

                Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                26 March 2021
                1Teagasc, Crop Science Department, Oak Park, Carlow R93 XE12, Ireland
                *Present address: Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University, NCRC, 600 Laureate Way, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA
                Author notes
                †Corresponding author: S.L. Byrne, E-mail: stephen.byrne@ 123456teagasc.ie
                Copyright © 2021 Mengist, Byrne, Griffin, and Milbourne

                This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IE.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, References: 33, Pages: 6
                Research Note


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