Biotech Updates

Study Identifies Proteins that Support Photosynthesis in Iron-Deficient Plants

October 27, 2021

Top, a normal leaf’s nutrient distribution. Bottom, distribution in a light-bleached mutant leaf. Synchrotron X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry image by Nabila Riaz.

A study reveals that researchers have identified how iron-deficient plants optimize photosynthesis to protect themselves from absorbing too much light.

Iron is an essential micronutrient important to photosynthesis, and the research conducted by researchers at Dartmouth College focused on the activity in chloroplasts, where 90 percent of the iron in plant leaves is stored and where photosynthesis takes place. The research team followed the cause of light-induced leaf bleaching observed in iron-deficient plants. They identified two regulatory proteins that protect plants from absorbing too much light during iron deficiency.

The images taken by the team show the way iron and other nutrients react to the absence of the regulatory proteins. The team hopes that understanding how plants adapt photosynthesis during iron deficiency may allow researchers to optimize plant growth in soils where iron is not naturally available.

For more details, read the article on the Dartmouth College website.

You might also like: