Function of a short peptide FEP1 involved in regulating iron accumulation in plants

September 12, 2022

A collaborative research group of Okayama University, RIKEN CSRS, and Nagasaki University elucidated the function of FEP1/IMA3, a short peptide that plays an important role in iron deficiency response in plants.

Iron is one of the essential minerals for living organisms. Although Iron is abundant in soils, most of it exists in insoluble forms. However, plants use a unique method to solubilize it and take it up for utilization. On the other hand, because too much iron is toxic, iron uptake, distribution, and maintenance are thought to be precisely regulated.

In 2018, the research group of Okayama University reported the discovery of a short peptide, FEP1, which plays an important role in iron deficiency response in plants. Through our transcriptome analysis using the FEP1 loss-of-function mutant fep1-1 and a transgenic line with estrogen-inducible FEP1 expression as well asphysiobiological analyses of these mutants, this new study revealed that FEP1 has a crucial role in the uptake and distribution of iron via the vascular tissues in plants.

findings would improve the iron-absorbing capacity of crops and resolve iron deficiency in humans.

Original article
Plant Cell & Environment doi:10.1111/pce.14424
S. Okada, G. J. Lei, N. Yamaji, S. Huang, J. F. Ma, K. Mochida, T. Hirayama,
"FE UPTAKE INDUCING PEPTIDE1 maintains Fe translocation by controlling Fe deficiency response genes in the vascular tissue of Arabidopsis".
Keiichi Mochida
Team Leader
Bioproductivity Informatics Research Team