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“Aluminum induces DNA damage that requires homologous recombination for repair”

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Tuesday 09 January 2018, 11:40 - 12:20


Aluminum (Al) ions are one of the primary growth-limiting factors for plants on acid soils globally restricting agriculture. Despite its impact, little is known about Al action in planta. Earlier work has suggested that, among other effects, Al triggers DNA damage checkpoint cascades resulting in reduced growth. However, Al effects appear to be complex and previous findings cannot be easily reconciled with the canonical function of DNA damage response (DDR) regulators. Here, we provide cytological and genetic data demonstrating that at high levels Al causes DNA double strand breaks. We find that the Al-induced damage specifically involves homology-dependent (HR) recombination repair. Our work gives rise to the hypothesis that even small amounts of Al can fully trigger DDR. Yet, under less-damaging conditions plant growth can continue if DNA repair pathways are active. Under highly damaging conditions, however, the full repertoire of DDR is needed for growth and plant survival. 


Poyu Chen1, Caroline Sjogren2, Paul Larsen2, and Arp Schnittger1*

1 University of Hamburg, Biozentrum Klein Flottbek, Department of Developmental Biology, 22609 Hamburg, Germany.

2 Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Riverside, CA 92508 USA

Location Jozef Schell Seminar Room
Contact Prof Arp Schnittger
Univeristy of Hamburg