The rice mitochondrial iron transporter is essential for plant growth

Khurram Bashir, Yasuhiro Ishimaru, Hugo Shimo, Seiji Nagasaka, Masaru Fujimoto, Hideki Takanashi, Nobuhiro Tsutsumi, Gynheung An, Hiromi Nakanishi, Naoko K. Nishizawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


In plants, iron (Fe) is essential for mitochondrial electron transport, heme, and Fe-Sulphur (Fe-S) cluster synthesis; however, plant mitochondrial Fe transporters have not been identified. Here we show, identify and characterize the rice mitochondrial Fe transporter (MIT). Based on a transfer DNA library screen, we identified a rice line showing symptoms of Fe deficiency while accumulating high shoot levels of Fe. Homozygous knockout of MIT in this line resulted in a lethal phenotype. MIT localized to the mitochondria and complemented the growth of Δmrs3Δmrs4 yeast defective in mitochondrial Fe transport. The growth of MIT-knockdown (mit-2) plants was also significantly impaired despite abundant Fe accumulation. Further, the decrease in the activity of the mitochondrial and cytosolic Fe-S enzyme, aconitase, indicated that Fe-S cluster synthesis is affected in mit-2 plants. These results indicate that MIT is a mitochondrial Fe transporter essential for rice growth and development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number322
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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