Regular Article

Plant and Soil

, Volume 361, Issue 1, pp 227-239

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Genetic analysis of the effect of zinc deficiency on Arabidopsis growth and mineral concentrations

  • Artak GhandilyanAffiliated withLaboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University
  • , Umit Baris KutmanAffiliated withFaculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabanci University
  • , Bahar Yildiz KutmanAffiliated withFaculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabanci University
  • , Ismail CakmakAffiliated withFaculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, Sabanci University
  • , Mark G. M. AartsAffiliated withLaboratory of Genetics, Wageningen University Email author 



Zinc deficiency is a common micronutrient deficiency in plants growing in many different regions of the world and is associated with disturbances in uptake and accumulation of mineral nutrients. Despite many published data on physiological factors affecting ion accumulation in Zn deficient plants, there is very little information about the genetic factors underlying this. We aim to identify genetic loci involved in mineral accumulation and plant performance under Zn deficiency.


Genetic loci were identified using the genetically segregating Ler × Cvi recombinant inbred line (RIL) population grown under Zn deficient conditions. Lines were analysed for the concentrations of Zn, Fe, Mn, K, Ca, Mg, P, Cu, S and Al in shoot dry matter. The same was done for the same lines grown under Zn sufficient conditions.


We found considerable heritable variation for most mineral concentrations. In general, there was a positive correlation between mineral concentrations. For Zn only condition-dependent QTLs were identified, while for most other mineral concentrations both condition-dependent and -independent QTLs were identified. Several QTLs co-localize, including co-localization to loci controlling shoot biomass and to mineral concentration loci found previously in this and other RIL populations.


There are different genetic loci controlling Zn accumulation under deficient and sufficient Zn supply. Only for few minerals, their accumulation is controlled by Zn-supply-specific loci.


Mineral deficiency QTL Recombinant inbred line Zinc Arabidopsis thaliana