An iron-activated citrate transporter, MtMATE67, is required for symbiotic nitrogen fixation

Igor S. Kryvoruchko, Pratyush Routray, Senjuti Sinharoy, Ivone Torres-Jerez, Manuel Tejada-Jiménez, Lydia A. Finney, Jin Nakashima, Catalina I. Pislariu, Vagner A. Benedito, Manuel González-Guerrero, Daniel M. Roberts, Michael K. Udvardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Iron (Fe) is an essential micronutrient for symbiotic nitrogen fixation in legume nodules, where it is required for the activity of bacterial nitrogenase, plant leghemoglobin, respiratory oxidases, and other Fe proteins in both organisms. Fe solubility and transport within and between plant tissues is facilitated by organic chelators, such as nicotianamine and citrate. We have characterized a nodule-specific citrate transporter of the multidrug and toxic compound extrusion family, MtMATE67 of Medicago truncatula. The MtMATE67 gene was induced early during nodule development and expressed primarily in the invasion zone of mature nodules. The MtMATE67 protein was localized to the plasma membrane of nodule cells and also the symbiosome membrane surrounding bacteroids in infected cells. In oocytes, MtMATE67 transported citrate out of cells in an Fe-activated manner. Loss of MtMATE67 gene function resulted in accumulation of Fe in the apoplasm of nodule cells and a substantial decrease in symbiotic nitrogen fixation and plant growth. Taken together, the results point to a primary role of MtMATE67 in citrate efflux from nodule cells in response to an Fe signal. This efflux is necessary to ensure Fe(III) solubility and mobility in the apoplasm and uptake into nodule cells. Likewise, MtMATE67-mediated citrate transport into the symbiosome space would increase the solubility and availability of Fe(III) for rhizobial bacteroids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2315-2329
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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