Aluminum being the third most abundant metal in the earth's crust poses a serious threat to crop productivity in acid soils, which comprise almost half of the arable land. This review travels across time and updates research done on aluminum stress in plants. In its phytotoxic forms, aluminum affects root growth by acting in the root apical zone, resulting in growth inhibition in a very short time at micromolar concentrations. The mechanisms of aluminum toxicity in plants may proceed by growth inhibition, callose accumulation, cytoskeletal distortion, disturbance of plasma membrane surface charge, and H -ATPase activity, lipid peroxidation of membranes, production of reactive oxygen species in cytosol and mitochondria, respiratory dysfunction, opening of mitochondrial permeability transition pores, collapsing of inner mitochondrial membrane potential, activation of mitochondrial protease, and induction of nuclear apoptosis, resulting ultimately in programmed cell death. In contrast, the mechanism of tolerance involves the exudation of organic acid anions, complexation of aluminum with organic acids, and subsequent detoxification. Many oxidative stress genes and other metabolically important genes have also been found to be induced under aluminum stress, and overexpression analyses have also shown some plants to develop some degree of tolerance. In the future, researchers in the area of aluminum research should investigate more basic mechanisms of aluminum toxicity and discover and study more aluminum-responsive genes that confer resistance against this toxic metal, to ensure food security for ever-increasing human populations in the future.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.