Iron-dependent modifications of the flower transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and hormonal content in an Arabidopsis ferritin mutant

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Abstract

Iron homeostasis is an important process for flower development and plant fertility. The role of plastids in these processes has been shown to be essential. To document the relationships between plastid iron homeostasis and flower biology further, a global study (transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, and hormone analysis) was performed of Arabidopsis flowers from wild-type and triple atfer1-3-4 ferritin mutant plants grown under iron-sufficient or excess conditions. Some major modifications in specific functional categories were consistently observed at these three omic levels, although no significant overlaps of specific transcripts and proteins were detected. These modifications concerned redox reactions and oxidative stress, as well as amino acid and protein catabolism, this latter point being exemplified by an almost 10-fold increase in urea concentration of atfer1-3-4 flowers from plants grown under iron excess conditions. The mutant background caused alterations in Fe–haem redox proteins located in membranes and in hormone-responsive proteins. Specific effects of excess Fe in the mutant included further changes in these categories, supporting the idea that the mutant is facing a more intense Fe/redox stress than the wild type. The mutation and/or excess Fe had a strong impact at the membrane level, as denoted by the changes in the transporter and lipid metabolism categories. In spite of the large number of genes and proteins responsive to hormones found to be regulated in this study, changes in the hormonal balance were restricted to cytokinins, especially in the mutant plants grown under Fe excess conditions.

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