Skip to main content
Log in

Differential iron management in monocotyledon and dicotyledon plants from the Río Tinto basin

Protoplasma Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Cite this article


The study of plants adapted to an extreme environment with a high concentration of iron such as Río Tinto allowed the study of important elements for the development and control of plant growth including their localization, management, and storage. The absorption, transport, and accumulation of iron were studied in different species of dicotyledons (Sarcocornia pruinosa, Salicornia patula, Arthrocnemum macrostachyum, and Halogeton sativus of the Chenopodiaceae family) and monocotyledons (Imperata cylindrica, Cynodon dactylon, and Panicum repens from the Poaceae family), all obtained from the Río Tinto banks in different sample collection campaigns. The results clearly show that phytoferritin is not observed in the chloroplast of monocotyledons, an important difference from what is observed in dicotyledons. The presence of plastids with a high concentration of iron in the sieve tubes of monocotyledons strongly suggests their possible role in the transport and accumulation of iron in these plants.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Institutional subscriptions

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


Download references


We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers that allowed substantial improvement of the manuscript. Also we would like to thank the personnel of the Centro Nacional de Microcopía and the Transmission Electron Microscopy Service of the Centro de Biología Molecular specially to Milagros Guerra from this service.


This study was supported by grant CGL2015-66242-R, from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to V. de la Fuente.

Additional information

Handling Editor: Néstor Carrillo

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material


Transmission electron micrographs of succulent stems of S. patula. a, location of phytoferritin in chloroplasts of the vascular bundles. b, detail of phytoferritin inside the chloroplast. c, detail of sizes and arrangement of the crystalline phytoferritin. The diameter of the cores varies between 6.00 and 8.89 nm. d, EDX spectrum of the phytoferritin in a chloroplast with the presence of Fe. Ch: chloroplast; Cw: cell wall; G: grana; M: mitochondria; Pf: phytoferritin; Ob: oil body (PNG 1548 kb)

High Resolution Image (TIF 15289 kb)


Representative transmission electron micrographs of A. macrostachyum small stem. a, location of ferritin within some chloroplasts of the central cylinder. White arrows indicate the location of phytoferritin. b, cell detail. c, chloroplast with phytoferrtyin close to the plasmatic membrane and the cell wall. Note the presence of various plasmodesmata in the cell wall. d, detail of phytoferritin and lipid bodies within the chloroplast of a vascular bundle cell. e, chloroplasts without ferritin cores in parenchyma cells, some with several starch grains. f, detail of a chloroplast without phytoferritin. Cc: central cylinder; Ch: chloroplast; Cw: cell wall; Er: endoplasmic reticulum; G: grana; IIS: M: mitochondria; N: nucleus; Ob: oil body; Pd: plasmodesmata; Pf: phytoferritin; Sg: starch grain; Str: stroma; V: vacuole; X: xylem (PNG 3525 kb)

High Resolution Image (TIF 28416 kb)


Representative transmission electron micrographs of C. dactylon leaves. a, Detail of a vascular bundle. b, chloroplast in a mesophyll cell with grana, oil bodies and starch grains but with no phytoferritin accumulation. Bs: bundle sheath; Ch: chloroplasts; Cc: companion cell; G: grana; M: mitochondria; Ms: mestome sheath; Ob: oil body; Sg: starch grain; St: sieve tube; Tst: thick-walled sieve tubes; X: xylem vessels; Xvp: xylem vascular parenchyma cell (PNG 2231 kb)

High Resolution Image (TIF 6314 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

de la Fuente, V., Rufo, L., Rodríguez, N. et al. Differential iron management in monocotyledon and dicotyledon plants from the Río Tinto basin. Protoplasma 257, 889–900 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: