Plant and Soil

, Volume 434, Issue 1–2, pp 343–361 | Cite as

Comparative transcriptome combined with metabolomic and physiological analyses revealed ROS-mediated redox signaling affecting rice growth and cellular iron homeostasis under varying pH conditions

  • Haifei Chen
  • Quan Zhang
  • Zhenhua ZhangEmail author
Regular Article


Background and aims

Mechanisms by which soil pH affects rice growth await further elucidation.


We have used a Systems Biology approach to elucidate the nature of the damage caused by extreme pH to plant growth and iron homeostasis, and the adaptive plant responses elicited.


Optimum pH for rice growth was pH 6. Comparative transcriptome analysis revealed that 83% of 1318 DEGs were down-regulated at pH 4, while 73% among of 1168 DEGs were up-regulated at pH 8. GO enrichment analysis showed significant enhancement of oxidation-reduction and oxidative stress responses. Environmental pH regulated cellular oxidation-reduction processes and metabolic pathways controlling rice growth. Additionally, pH affected cellular iron-homeostasis by regulating root apoplastic iron deposition. Low pH enhanced iron mobilization from root apoplast and accumulation in plant tissues, and down-regulated iron transport related genes to prevent iron toxicity. Conversely,high pH induced blockage of iron mobilization from root apoplast. Rhizosphere pH affected aerenchyma formation and exodermis-apoplastic barriers under control of ROS, already weakened and enhanced by low pH and high pH, respectively.


ROS-mediated redox signaling plays an important role in regulating rice growth under varying pH conditions. Cellular iron homeostasis was disturbed through regulation of iron plaque formation and apoplastic iron mobilization in rice roots under acidic and alkaline conditions.


pH ROS Iron-homeostasis Exodermis-apoplastic barriers Plant growth Rice 



This study was financially supported in part by the Province Key R&D Program of Hunan (2018NK1010); National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFD0200100, 2017YFD0200103); National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.31101596, 31372130); Hunan Provincial Recruitment Program of Foreign Experts; and the National Oilseed Rape Production Technology System of China; “2011 Plan” supported by The Chinese Ministry of Education; Research and Innovation Project of postgraduates in Hunan province (CX2015B242), Double First-class Construction Project of Hunan Agricultural University (kxk201801005).

Supplementary material

11104_2018_3859_MOESM1_ESM.doc (29.8 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 30481 kb)
11104_2018_3859_MOESM2_ESM.xls (93 kb)
ESM 2 (XLS 93 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Regional Collaborative Innovation Center for Grain and Oil Crops in China, College of Resources and Environmental SciencesHunan Agricultural UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical AgricultureChinese Academy of SciencesChangshaChina

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