An iron transporter in rice that is important for plant growth and development is identified in a paper in Nature Communications this week. Targeting this transporter may prove to be important for improving the nutritional quality of rice.
By screening nearly 4000 different rice lines Naoko Nishizawa and colleagues found one line with iron deficiency. The mutant plant was found to have an alteration in a protein that localises to the mitochondria, known as mitochondrial iron transporter, and the plants were shown to have growth defects. These findings may have implications for improving the iron content of rice which could be important for reducing iron deficiency in humans.