DBEM seminar - Iron metabolism: crops vs wild plants

Lunedì, 26 Novembre 2018 dalle ore 11:00 alle ore 12:00

Aula Gialla (5203) CTT

SPEAKER - Dr. Gianpiero Vigani is Senior Researcher in the Plant Physiology Unit, Department of Life Sciences and System Biology at the University of Turin, Italy. For more information see his ResearchGate profile .

TITLE - Iron metabolism: crops vs wild plants

ABSTRACT - Low iron (Fe) availability in soil represents one of the most important limiting factors of agricultural production. In order to investigate the physiological and biochemical adaptation mechanisms occurring in plants under Fe deficiency, it is of central importance to acquire a detailed knowledge of the metabolic changes taking place under such conditions. In plant cells, highest demand for iron occurs in chloroplasts and mitochondria. Fe deficiency strongly impairs respiratory chain activity as well as mitochondrial ultrastructure. Such mitochondrial alterations might be a source of signals that might able to regulate the expression of nuclear encoded genes. Our goal is to understand plant metabolic responses to Fe deficiency and the relative contribution of cellular compartments to the Fe sensing and signaling pathways. Here, I will present novel findings on Fe metabolism in plants that we obtained as follows:

  • i) by investigating the iron-interacting partners in plants. A detailed investigation about Fe-S and Fe-Mo interactions revealed that subcellular compartments (e.g. mitochondria) represent important cellular sites where nutrients networking take place. While, understanding the Fe-O2 relationship allowed us to revisit the whole Fe metabolism by grouping the Fe-requiring enzymes (FeRE) into six different categories;
  • ii) by comparing the Fe deficiency-induced metabolic adaptation of crop plants with those of calcicole plants. We characterized the adaptive responses to Fe deficiency of Parietaria judaica, a spontaneous plant well adapted to calcareous environments. Morphological, biochemical and metabolic characterization revealed that Parietaria evolved efficient mechanisms to cope with low Fe availability.

Such approaches allowed us to identify important regulatory points of Fe metabolism in plants. These findings are use  to improve our understanding of the plant adaptation mechanisms to the surrounding environment.

DBEM seminar - Gianpiero Vigani Application/pdf - (469,18 kB)