Overexpression of ATP sulfurylase in Indian mustard leads to increased selenate uptake, reduction, and tolerance

Elizabeth A.H. Pilon-Smits, Seongbin Hwang, C. Mel Lytle, Yongliang Zhu, Jenny C. Tai, Rogelio C. Bravo, Yichang Chen, Tom Leustek, Norman Terry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

377 Scopus citations


In earlier studies, the assimilation of selenate by plants appeared to be limited by its reduction, a step that is thought to be mediated by ATP sulfurylase. Here, the Arabidopsis APS1 gene, encoding a plastidic ATP sulfurylase, was constitutively overexpressed in Indian mustard (Brassica juncea). Compared with that in untransformed plants, the ATP sulfurylase activity was 2- to 2.5-fold higher in shoots and roots of transgenic seedlings, and 1.5- to 2-fold higher in shoots but not roots of selenate-supplied mature ATP-sulfurylase-overexpressing (APS) plants. The APS plants showed increased selenate reduction: x-ray absorption spectroscopy showed that root and shoot tissues of mature APS plants contained mostly organic Se (possibly selenomethionine), whereas wild-type plants accumulated selenate. The APS plants were not able to reduce selenate when shoots were removed immediately before selenate was supplied. In addition, Se accumulation in APS plants was 2- to 3-fold higher in shoots and 1.5-fold higher in roots compared with wild-type plants, and Se tolerance was higher in both seedlings and mature APS plants. These studies show that ATP sulfurylase not only mediates selenate reduction in plants, but is also rate limiting for selenate uptake and assimilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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