Phosphate deprivation-induced changes in tomato are mediated by an interaction between brassinosteroid signaling and zinc

Demirer G.S., Gibson D.J., Yue X., Pan K., Elishav E., Khandal H., Horev G., Tarkowská D., Cantó-Pastor A., Kong S., Manzano C., Maloof J., Savaldi-Goldstein S., Brady S.M.
NEW PHYTOLOGIST 239: 1368–1383, 2023

Keywords: brassinosteroid signaling, interactions between nutrients and hormones, nutrient deprivation, phosphate, Solanum pennellii, tomato, zinc
Abstract: Inorganic phosphate (Pi) is a necessary macronutrient for basic biological processes. Plants modulate their root system architecture (RSA) and cellular processes to adapt to Pi deprivation albeit with a growth penalty. Excess application of Pi fertilizer, on the contrary, leads to eutrophication and has a negative environmental impact. We compared RSA, root hair elongation, acid phosphatase activity, metal ion accumulation, and brassinosteroid hormone levels of Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) and Solanum pennellii, which is a wild relative of tomato, under Pi sufficiency and deficiency conditions to understand the molecular mechanism of Pi deprivation response in tomato. We showed that S. pennellii is partially insensitive to phosphate deprivation. Furthermore, it mounts a constitutive response under phosphate sufficiency. We demonstrate that activated brassinosteroid signaling through a tomato BZR1 ortholog gives rise to the same constitutive phosphate deficiency response, which is dependent on zinc overaccumulation. Collectively, these results reveal an additional strategy by which plants can adapt to phosphate starvation.
DOI: 10.1111/nph.19007 IEB authors: Danuše Tarkowská