Transition metals in plant photosynthesis
Transition metals are involved in essential biological processes in plants since they are cofactors of metalloproteins and also act as regulator elements. Particularly, plant chloroplasts are organelles with high transition metal ion demand because metalloproteins are involved in the photosynthetic electron transport chain. The transition metal requirement of photosynthetic organisms greatly exceeds that of non-photosynthetic organisms, and either metal deficiency or metal excess strongly impacts photosynthetic functions. In chloroplasts, the transition metal ion requirement needs a homeostasis network that strictly regulates metal uptake, chelation, trafficking and storage since under some conditions metals cause toxicity. This review gives an overview of the current understanding of main features concerning the role of copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) in plant photosynthesis as well as the mechanisms involved in their homeostasis within chloroplasts. The metalloproteins functioning in photosynthetic proteins of plants as well as those proteins participating in the metal transport and metal binding assembly are reviewed. Furthermore, the role of nickel (Ni) in artificial photosynthesis will be discussed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Plant Metallomics