Scientific reports

Chickpea Ferritin CaFer1 Participates in Oxidative Stress Response, and Promotes Growth and Development.

PMID 27503257


Ferritins store and sequester iron, and regulate iron homeostasis. The cDNA for a stress-responsive phytoferritin, previously identified in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of chickpea (Cicer arietinum), was cloned and designated CaFer1. The CaFer1 transcript was strongly induced in chickpea exposed to dehydration, hypersalinity and ABA treatment. Additionally, it has role in the defense against Fusarium oxysporum infection. Functional complementation of the yeast frataxin-deficient mutant, Δyfh1, indicates that CaFer1 functions in oxidative stress. The presence of CaFer1 in the extracellular space besides chloroplast establishes its inimitable nature from that of other phytoferritins. Furthermore, CaFer1 expression in response to iron suggests its differential mechanism of accumulation at two different iron conditions. CaFer1-overexpressing transgenic plants conferred improved growth and development, accompanied by altered expression of iron-responsive genes. Together, these results suggest that the phytoferritin, CaFer1, might play a key role in maintenance of iron buffering and adaptation to environmental challenges.