Chloroplast Fe(III) chelate reductase activity is essential for seedling viability under iron limiting conditions

Jeeyon Jeong, Christopher Cohu, Loubna Kerkeb, Marinus Pilon, Erin L. Connolly, Mary Lou Guerinot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Photosynthesis, heme biosynthesis, and Fe-S cluster assembly all take place in the chloroplast, and all require iron. Reduction of iron via a membrane-bound Fe(III) chelate reductase is required before iron transport across membranes in a variety of systems, but to date there has been no definitive genetic proof that chloroplasts have such a reduction system. Here we report that one of the eight members of the Arabidopsis ferric reductase oxidase (FRO) family, FRO7, localizes to the chloroplast. Chloroplasts prepared from fro7 loss-of-function mutants have 75% less Fe(III) chelate reductase activity and contain 33% less iron per microgram of chlorophyll than wild-type chloroplasts. This decreased iron content is presumably responsible for the observed defects in photosynthetic electron transport. When germinated in alkaline soil, fro7 seedlings show severe chlorosis and die without setting seed unless watered with high levels of soluble iron. Overall, our results provide molecular evidence that FRO7 plays a role in chloroplast iron acquisition and is required for efficient photosynthesis in young seedlings and for survival under iron-limiting conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10619-10624
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 29 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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