[Wolfgang Schmidt] Iron and pH: an intense liaison

How calcicole (chalk-loving) plants adapt to alkaline soils has puzzled plant ecologists since centuries. Restricted mobilization and limited uptake of iron constitute main factors for excluding so-called calcifuge (‘chalk-fleeing’) plants from habitats with alkaline soil reaction. An RNA-seq-based inventory of genome-wide gene expression of roots from iron-deficient Arabidopsis plants grown either at optimal, slightly acidic (5.5), or high (7.0) pH conducted by Wolfgang Schmidt’s group showed that external pH significantly alters the response to iron deficiency by prioritizing specific, pH-dependent modules, allowing for a more efficient iron acquisition which is accurately tuned to a given set of edaphic conditions https://rdcu.be/b8at3. Furthermore, the data shed light on the intertwining of various signaling pathways, where external pH massively influence the decision-making process of plants.