Role of magnesium in alleviation of aluminium toxicity in plants
Bose, J and Babourina, O and Rengel, Z, Role of magnesium in alleviation of aluminium toxicity in plants, Journal of Experimental Botany, 62, (7) pp. 2251-2264. ISSN 0022-0957 (2011) [Refereed Article]
Magnesium is pivotal for activating a large number of enzymes; hence, magnesium plays an important role in numerous physiological and biochemical processes affecting plant growth and development. Magnesium can also ameliorate aluminium phytotoxicity, but literature reports on the dynamics of magnesium homeostasis upon exposure to aluminium are rare. Herein existing knowledge on the magnesium transport mechanisms and homeostasis maintenance in plant cells is critically reviewed. Even though overexpression of magnesium transporters can alleviate aluminium toxicity in plants, the mechanisms governing such alleviation remain obscure.
Possible magnesium-dependent mechanisms include (i) better carbon partitioning from shoots to roots; (ii) increased synthesis and exudation of organic acid anions; (iii) enhanced acid phosphatase activity; (iv) maintenance of proton-ATPase activity and cytoplasmic pH regulation; (v) protection against an aluminium-induced cytosolic calicium increase; and (vi) protection against reactive oxygen species. Future research should concentrate on assessing aluminium toxicity and tolerance in plants with overexpressed or antisense magnesium transporters to increase understanding of the aluminium–magnesium interaction.