An evolutionary perspective on differential regulation of zinc and cadmium homeostasis genes in Arabidopsis thaliana and Noccaea caerulescens

Some plants can tolerate and accumulate unusually high levels of toxic metals, and the analysis of such plants can provide insight into the ecology of environments that are polluted with heavy metals due to human industrial activities. The study of heavy metal hyperaccumulators such as Noccaea caerulescens can show how plants cope with excess metals and increase their fitness when growing in metalliferous environments.

Promovendus Y (Ya-Fen) Lin
Promotor M (Maarten) Koornneef
Copromotor prof.dr. MGM (Mark) Aarts
Organisatie Wageningen University, Laboratory of Genetics

ma 24 maart 2014 16:00 tot 17:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen

In this thesis, I compared the molecular mechanisms of zinc (Zn) homeostasis and cadmium (Cd) response in the hyperaccumulator species Noccaea caerulescens and its non-accumulator relative Arabidopsis thaliana by investigating the regulation of the ZNT1/ZIP4 gene that promotes Zn uptake and Zn/Cd tolerance. I also studied the ecological advantages of metal hyperaccumulators in nature and determined the DNA sequences of the N. caerulescens transcriptome to find candidate genes that control metal hyperaccumulation and provide an evolutionary perspective on the emergence of this trait.