Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


Department of Biological Sciences


Photosynthesis, heme biosynthesis, and Fe-S cluster assembly all take place in the chloroplast, and all require iron. Reduction of iron via a membrane-bound Fe(III) chelate reductase is required before iron transport across membranes in a variety of systems, but to date there has been no definitive genetic proof that chloroplasts have such a reduction system. Here we report that one of the eight members of the Arabidopsis ferric reductase oxidase (FRO) family, FRO7, localizes to the chloroplast. Chloroplasts prepared from fro7 loss-of-function mutants have 75% less Fe(III) chelate reductase activity and contain 33% less iron per microgram of chlorophyll than wild-type chloroplasts. This decreased iron content is presumably responsible for the observed defects in photosynthetic electron transport. When germinated in alkaline soil, fro7 seedlings show severe chlorosis and die without setting seed unless watered with high levels of soluble iron. Overall, our results provide molecular evidence that FRO7 plays a role in chloroplast iron acquisition and is required for efficient photosynthesis in young seedlings and for survival under iron-limiting conditions.



Original Citation

Jeong J, Cohu C, Kerkeb L, Pilon M, Connolly EL, Guerinot ML. Chloroplast Fe(III) chelate reductase activity is essential for seedling viability under iron limiting conditions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jul 29;105(30):10619-24. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0708367105. Epub 2008 Jul 22. PMID: 18647837; PMCID: PMC2492473.