Gene atlas of iron-containing proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana
Plant J. 2021 Jan 10. Epub ahead of print
Przybyla-Toscano J, Boussardon C, Law S, Rouhier N, Keech O

Iron (Fe) is an essential element for the development and physiology of plants owing to its presence in numerous proteins involved in central biological processes. Here, we established an exhaustive, manually curated inventory of genes encoding Fe-containing proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana, and summarised their subcellular localisation, spatiotemporal expression, and evolutionary age. We have currently identified 1068* genes encoding potential Fe-containing proteins, including 204 iron-sulfur (Fe-S) proteins, 446 haem proteins and 330 non-Fe-S/non-haem Fe proteins. A fourth class, containing 88 genes for which iron binding is uncertain, is indexed as 'unclear'. The proteins are distributed in diverse subcellular compartments with strong differences per category. Interestingly, analysis of the gene age index showed that most genes were acquired early in plant evolutionary history, and have progressively gained regulatory elements to support both complex organ- and development-specific functions necessitated by the emergence of terrestrial plants. With this gene atlas, we provide a valuable and updateable tool for the research community that supports the characterisation of the molecular actors and mechanisms important for Fe metabolism in plants. This will also help in selecting relevant targets for breeding or biotechnological approaches aiming at Fe biofortification in crops.

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