AtIAR1 is a Zn transporter that regulates auxin metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana

gold Gold open access

Root growth in Arabidopsis is inhibited by exogenous auxinamino acid conjugates, and mutants resistant to one such conjugate [indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)Ala] map to a gene (AtIAR1) that is a member of a metal transporter family. Here, we test the hypothesis that AtIAR1 controls the hydrolysis of stored conjugated auxin to free auxin through zinc transport. AtIAR1 complements a yeast mutant sensitive to zinc, but not manganese- or iron-sensitive mutants, and the transporter is predicted to be localized to the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi in plants. A previously identified Atiar1 mutant and a non-expressed T-DNA mutant both exhibit altered auxin metabolism, including decreased IAAglucose conjugate levels in zinc-deficient conditions and insensitivity to the growth effect of exogenous IAAAla conjugates. At a high concentration of zinc, wild-type plants show a novel enhanced response to root growth inhibition by exogenous IAAAla which is disrupted in both Atiar1 mutants. Furthermore, both Atiar1 mutants show changes in auxin-related phenotypes, including lateral root density and hypocotyl length. The findings therefore suggest a role for AtIAR1 in controlling zinc release from the secretory system, where zinc homeostasis plays a key role in regulation of auxin metabolism and plant growth regulation.