Molecular understanding of plant metal accumulation determinants has numerous additional biotechnological implications. For instance, health-threatening human deficiencies in trace metals appear to be widespread in developing countries and possibly worldwide. Engineering Zn accumulation in edible parts might help in enriching diets for Zn. Conversely, most of the toxic non-essential elements such as Cd enter the human body via plant-derived material (i.e. food or tobacco smoke). Because significant differences in Cd accumulation are known to occur between plant varieties, molecular identification of mechanisms governing this process could result in the development of useful markers or of crops with reduced toxic metal content.


last modified 2009-11-24