Genome-wide analysis of plant metal transporters, with an emphasis on poplar
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The specific transport of metal ions, mediated by membrane-localized metal transporters, is of fundamental importance in all eukaryotes. Genome-wide analysis of metal transporters was undertaken, making use of whole genome sequences of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the moss Physcomitrella patens, the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii, the monocots rice and sorghum, and the dicots Arabidopsis thaliana, poplar, grapevine, as well as of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A repertoire of 430 metal transporters was found in total across eight photosynthetic plants, as well as in S. cerevisiae. Seventy-two full-length metal transporter genes were identified in the Populus genome alone, which is the largest number of metal transporters genes identified in any single species to date. Diversification of some transporter family gene clusters appears to have occurred in a lineage-specific manner. Expression analysis of Populus metal transporters indicates that some family members show tissue-specific transcript abundance. Taken together, the data provide a picture into the diversification of these important gene families.