Evidence for a role of nitric oxide in iron homeostasis in plants

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  • UL - University of Luchnow
  • Chiba University

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Nitric oxide (NO), once regarded as a poisonous air pollutant, is now understood as a regulatory molecule essential for several biological functions in plants. In this review, we summarize NO generation in different plant organs and cellular compartments, and also discuss the role of NO in iron (Fe) homeostasis, particularly in Fe-deficient plants. Fe is one of the most limiting essential nutrient elements for plants. Plants often exhibit Fe deficiency symptoms despite sufficient tissue Fe concentrations. NO appears to not only up-regulate Fe uptake mechanisms but also makes Fe more bioavailable for metabolic functions. NO forms complexes with Fe, which can then be delivered into target cells/tissues. NO generated in plants can alleviate oxidative stress by regulating antioxidant defense processes, probably by improving functional Fe status and by inducing post-translational modifications in the enzymes/proteins involved in antioxidant defense responses. It is hypothesized that NO acts in cooperation with transcription factors such as bHLHs, FIT, and IRO to regulate the expression of enzymes and proteins essential for Fe homeostasis. However, further investigations are needed to disentangle the interaction of NO with intracellular target molecules that leads to enhanced internal Fe availability in plants.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)990-1006
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2021


  • Antioxidant defense, Functional iron, Iron availability, Iron-related enzymes, Nitric oxide, Reactive oxygen species (ROS)

ID: 7353365