Calcium (Ca) and manganese (Mn) are essential nutrients required for normal plant growth and development, and transport processes play a key role in regulating their cellular levels. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) contains four P(2A)-type ATPase genes, AtECA1 to AtECA4, which are expressed in all major organs of Arabidopsis. To elucidate the physiological role of AtECA2 and AtECA3 in Arabidopsis, several independent T-DNA insertion mutant alleles were isolated. When grown on medium lacking Mn, eca3 mutants, but not eca2 mutants, displayed a striking difference from wild-type plants. After approximately 8 to 9 d on this medium, eca3 mutants became chlorotic, and root and shoot growth were strongly inhibited compared to wild-type plants. These severe deficiency symptoms were suppressed by low levels of Mn, indicating a crucial role for ECA3 in Mn nutrition in Arabidopsis. eca3 mutants were also more sensitive than wild-type plants and eca2 mutants on medium lacking Ca; however, the differences were not so striking because in this case all plants were severely affected. ECA3 partially restored the growth defect on high Mn of the yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) pmr1 mutant, which is defective in a Golgi Ca/Mn pump (PMR1), and the yeast K616 mutant (Deltapmc1 Deltapmr1 Deltacnb1), defective in Golgi and vacuolar Ca/Mn pumps. ECA3 also rescued the growth defect of K616 on low Ca. Promoter:beta-glucuronidase studies show that ECA3 is expressed in a range of tissues and cells, including primary root tips, root vascular tissue, hydathodes, and guard cells. When transiently expressed in Nicotiana tabacum, an ECA3-yellow fluorescent protein fusion protein showed overlapping expression with the Golgi protein GONST1. We propose that ECA3 is important for Mn and Ca homeostasis, possibly functioning in the transport of these ions into the Golgi. ECA3 is the first P-type ATPase to be identified in plants that is required under Mn-deficient conditions.
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