Overexpression of the OsZIP4 zinc transporter confers disarrangement of zinc distribution in rice plants

Yasuhiro Ishimaru, Hiroshi Masuda, Motofumi Suzuki, Khurram Bashir, Michiko Takahashi, Hiromi Nakanishi, Satoshi Mori, Naoko K. Nishizawa

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142 Citations (Scopus)


Zinc (Zn), an essential nutrient in cells, plays a vital role in controlling cellular processes such as growth, development, and differentiation. Although the mechanisms of Zn translocation in rice plants (Oryza sativa) are not fully understood, it has recently received increased interest. OsZIP4 is a Zn transporter that localizes to apical cells. Transgenic rice plants overexpressing the OsZIP4 gene under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter were produced. The Zn concentration in roots of 35S-OsZIP4 transgenic plants was 10 times higher than in those of vector controls, but it was five times lower in shoots. The Zn concentration in seeds of 35S-OsZIP4 plants was four times lower compared with vector controls. Northern blot analysis and quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR revealed transcripts of OsZIP4 expression driven by the CaMV 35S promoter in roots and shoots of 35S-OsZIP4 plants, but levels of endogenous OsZIP4 transcripts were low in roots and high in shoots compared with vector controls. Microarray analysis revealed that the genes expressed in shoots of 35S-OsZIP4 plants coincided with those induced in shoots of Zn-deficient plants. These results indicate that constitutive expression of OsZIP4 changes the Zn distribution within rice plants, and that OsZIP4 is a critical Zn transporter that must be strictly regulated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2909-2915
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept


  • OsZIP4
  • Rice
  • Seed
  • Zinc transporter


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