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Open AccessArticle

Characterization of the Copper Transporters from Lotus spp. and Their Involvement under Flooding Conditions

Instituto Tecnológico de Chascomús (INTECh), UNSAM/CONICET, Avda. Intendente Marino Km. 8.2, Chascomús, Buenos Aires 7130, Argentina
Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Estructura de Recerca Interdisciplinar en Biotecnologiaia i Biomedicina (ERI BIOTECMED), Universitat de València. Burjassot, 46100 Valencia, Spain
Instituto de Fisiología Vegetal (INFIVE), Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), La Plata, Buenos Aires 1900, Argentina
Instituto de Quı́mica y Metabolismo del Fármaco (IQUIMEFA), Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires C113AAD, Argentina
Departamento de Química Analítica y Fisicoquímica, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires C113AAD, Argentina
Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Centro Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, IATA-CSIC, Paterna, 46980 Valencia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(13), 3136;
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 25 June 2019 / Published: 27 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uptake and Compartmentalisation of Mineral Nutrients in Plants)
Forage legumes are an important livestock nutritional resource, which includes essential metals, such as copper. Particularly, the high prevalence of hypocuprosis causes important economic losses to Argentinian cattle agrosystems. Copper deficiency in cattle is partially due to its low content in forage produced by natural grassland, and is exacerbated by flooding conditions. Previous results indicated that incorporation of Lotus spp. into natural grassland increases forage nutritional quality, including higher copper levels. However, the biological processes and molecular mechanisms involved in copper uptake by Lotus spp. remain poorly understood. Here, we identify four genes that encode putative members of the Lotus copper transporter family, denoted COPT in higher plants. A heterologous functional complementation assay of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ctr1∆ctr3∆ strain, which lacks the corresponding yeast copper transporters, with the putative Lotus COPT proteins shows a partial rescue of the yeast phenotypes in restrictive media. Under partial submergence conditions, the copper content of L. japonicus plants decreases and the expression of two Lotus COPT genes is induced. These results strongly suggest that the Lotus COPT proteins identified in this work function in copper uptake. In addition, the fact that environmental conditions affect the expression of certain COPT genes supports their involvement in adaptive mechanisms and envisages putative biotechnological strategies to improve cattle copper nutrition. View Full-Text
Keywords: copper transporters; legumes; flooding; forage copper transporters; legumes; flooding; forage
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Escaray, F.J.; Antonelli, C.J.; Copello, G.J.; Puig, S.; Peñarrubia, L.; Ruiz, O.A.; Perea-García, A. Characterization of the Copper Transporters from Lotus spp. and Their Involvement under Flooding Conditions. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3136.

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