Indexed on: 04 Dec '10Published on: 04 Dec '10Published in: Journal of experimental botany
Cadmium (Cd) in rice is a major source of Cd intake for people on a staple rice diet. The mechanisms underlying Cd accumulation in rice plant are still poorly understood. Here, we characterized the physiology and genetics of Cd transport in a high-Cd-accumulating cultivar (Jarjan) of rice (Oryza sativa). Jarjan showed 5- to 34-fold higher Cd accumulation in the shoots and grains than the cultivar Nipponbare, when it was grown in either a non-Cd-contaminated or a Cd-contaminated soil. A short-term uptake experiment showed no significant difference in Cd uptake by the roots between the two cultivars. However, Jarjan translocated 49% of the total Cd taken up to the shoots, whereas Nipponbare retained most of the Cd in the roots. In both concentration- and time-dependent experiments, Jarjan showed a superior capacity for root-to-shoot translocation of Cd. These results indicate that the high-Cd-accumulation phenotype in Jarjan results from efficient translocation of Cd from roots to shoots. Genetic analysis using an F(2) population derived from Jarjan and Nipponbare revealed that plants showing high- and low-Cd-accumulation phenotypes segregated in a 1:3 ratio, indicating that high accumulation in Jarjan is controlled by a single recessive gene. Furthermore, we isolated OsHMA3, a gene encoding a tonoplast-localized Cd transporter from Jarjan. The OsHMA3 protein was localized in all roots cells, but the sequence has a mutation leading to loss of function. Therefore, failure to sequester Cd into the root vacuoles by OsHMA3 is probably responsible for high Cd accumulation in Jarjan.