The New phytologist

The role of Arabidopsis thaliana NAR1, a cytosolic iron-sulfur cluster assembly component, in gametophytic gene expression and oxidative stress responses in vegetative tissue.

PMID 23734982


Iron-sulfur proteins have iron-sulfur clusters as a prosthetic group and are responsible for various cellular processes, including general transcriptional regulation, photosynthesis and respiration. The cytosolic iron-sulfur assembly (CIA) pathway of yeast has been shown to be responsible for regulation of iron-sulfur cluster assembly in both the cytosol and the nucleus. However, little is known about the roles of this pathway in multicellular organisms. In a forward genetic screen, we identified an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant with impaired expression of the endosperm-specific gene Flowering Wageningen (FWA). To characterize this mutant, we carried out detailed phenotypic and genetic analyses during reproductive and vegetative development. The mutation affects NAR1, which encodes a homolog of a yeast CIA pathway component. Comparison of embryo development in nar1-3 and other A. thaliana mutants affected in the CIA pathway showed that the embryos aborted at a similar stage, suggesting that this pathway potentially functions in early seed development. Transcriptome analysis of homozygous viable nar1-4 seedlings showed transcriptional repression of a subset of genes involved in 'iron ion transport' and 'response to nitrate'. nar1-4 also exhibited resistance to the herbicide paraquat. Our results indicate that A. thaliana NAR1 has various functions including transcriptional regulation in gametophytes and abiotic stress responses in vegetative tissues.