Development of a mugineic acid family phytosiderophore analog as an iron fertilizer

Iron (Fe) is an essential nutrient, but is poorly bioavailable because of its low solubility in alkaline soils; this leads to reduced agricultural productivity. To overcome this problem, we first showed that the soil application of synthetic 2′-deoxymugineic acid, a natural phytosiderophore from the Poaceae, can recover Fe deficiency in rice grown in calcareous soil. However, the high cost and poor stability of synthetic 2′-deoxymugineic acid preclude its agricultural use.

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Fig: Iron (Fe) uptake strategy in Poaceae plants

In this work, we develop a more stable and less expensive analog, proline-2′-deoxymugineic acid, and demonstrate its practical synthesis and transport of its Fe-chelated form across the plasma membrane by Fe(III)•2’-deoxymugineic acid transporters. Possibility of its use as an iron fertilizer on alkaline soils is supported by promotion of rice growth in a calcareous soil by soil application of metal free proline-2’-deoxymugineic acid.

Suzuki, M., Urabe, A., Sasaki, S. et al. Development of a mugineic acid family phytosiderophore analog as an iron fertilizer. Nat Commun12, 1558 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21837-6

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