Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 101–111 | Cite as

Overexpression of a Miscanthus sacchariflorus yellow stripe-like transporter MsYSL1 enhances resistance of Arabidopsis to cadmium by mediating metal ion reallocation

  • Houming Chen
  • Cheng Zhang
  • Haipeng Guo
  • Yimin Hu
  • Yi He
  • Dean Jiang
Original paper


The yellow stripe-like (YSL) family of transporters mediates the uptake, translocation, and distribution of various mineral elements in vivo by transferring metal ions chelated with phytosiderophore or nicotianamine (NA). However, little is known about the roles of the YSL genes against cadmium in planta. In this study, we first cloned and characterized a vital member of the YSL gene family, MsYSL1, from the bioenergy plant Miscanthus sacchariflorus. MsYSL1 localized in the plasma membrane and was widely expressed throughout the whole seedling with the highest expression level in the stem. In addition, its expression in the root was stimulated by excess manganese (Mn), cadmium (Cd), and lead, and a shortage of iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and copper. Functional complementation in yeast indicated that MsYSL1 showed transport activity for Fe(II)–NA and Zn–NA, but not for Cd–NA. Although they exhibited no significant differences versus the wild type under normal cultivation conditions, MsYSL1-overexpressing Arabidopsis lines displayed a higher resistance to Cd accompanied by longer root lengths, lower Cd, Zn, and Mn levels in roots, and higher Cd, Fe, and Mn translocation ratios under Cd stress. Moreover, genes related to NA synthesis, metal translocation, long-distance transport, and Cd exclusion were highly induced in transgenic lines under Cd stress. Thus, MsYSL1 may be an essential transporter for diverse metal–NAs to participate in the Cd detoxification by mediating the reallocation of other metal ions.


Miscanthus sacchariflorus MsYSL1 Yeast complementation Cd tolerance Arabidopsis 



Yellow stripe-like






Nicotianamine synthetase


Mugineic acids


Deoxymugineic acids



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31571577, 31371591) and the National Science and Technology Support Plan of China (Grant No. 2012BAC09B01).

Author contributions

CHM, GHP and JDA conceived and designed the experiments. CHM and ZC performed the experiments. CHM, HYM and HY analyzed the data. CHM, GHP and JDA wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

These authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Supplementary material

10725_2018_376_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14834 KB)
10725_2018_376_MOESM2_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 18 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Houming Chen
    • 1
  • Cheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Haipeng Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yimin Hu
    • 3
  • Yi He
    • 1
  • Dean Jiang
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Life SciencesZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Marine SciencesNingbo UniversityNingboPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Food Science and TechnologyNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China

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