Elements are essential not just for plant growth, but also for human nutrition and health. We tried to isolate rice genes that cause higher accumulation of elements in plants to support breeding of crops for bioremediation (1) and to improve human health in developing countries (2).
We cut off rosette leaves of T1 Rice FOX Arabidopsis plants and completely dried them at 65 °C overnight. Each dried sample was homogenized and pressed into a discoid shape on lithium borate. The proportions of nine elements (K, Ca, S, P, Fe, Zn, Mn, Mg, and Si) in each sample were measured with an energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (EDX-70; Shimadzu Corp., Kyoto, Japan). We isolated many candidate mutants with obviously higher proportions of elements than in control plants.
1. Guerinot, M.L. & Salt, D.E. Fortified foods and phytoremediation: two sides of the same coin. Plant Physiol. 125, 164-167 (2001).
2. Daar, A.S. et al. Top ten biotechnologies for improving health in developing countries. Nat. Genet. 32, 229-232 (2002).