Amino acid derivative helps promote phytoaccumulation of cesium

February 23, 2017

Potential for more efficient decontamination of farmlands

A joint research team from RIKEN CSRS and the University of Southern Denmark has elucidated that the amino acid derivative L-methyl cysteinate promotes cesium accumulation in Arabidopsis.

The researchers isolated 14 chemical candidates as "cesium accumulators" by screening a chemical library of 10,000 organic compounds. The team focused on the candidate L-methyl cysteinate, a derivative of cysteine (a type of amino acid), and determined that the compound binds cesium in Arabidopsis cells or on its root surfaces.

High-throughput data analysis (profiling) of plant metabolites also yielded confirmation of a sharp increase in cysteine amount inside the plant in the presence of cesium.

The researchers hope this discovery can be used to improve and develop technologies for efficient decontamination of radioactive cesium.

Original article
Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/srep43170
E. Adams, T. Miyazaki, A. Hayaishi-Satoh, M. Han, M. Kusano, H. Khandelia, K. Saito, R. Shin,
"A novel role for methyl cysteinate, a cysteine derivative, in cesium accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana".
Ryoung Shin; Unit Leader
Eri Adams; Research Scientist
Regulatory Network Research Unit