Natural variation among Arabidopsis thaliana accessions in tolerance to high magnesium supply Academic Article uri icon


  • High magnesium (Mg2+) in some extreme serpentine soils or semi-arid regions is an important factor affecting crop growth and development. Specific loci that form the genetic framework underlying high Mg2+ homeostasis, however, are not well understood. By using GWA mapping on 388 accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana selected from a worldwide collection and genotyped at approximately 250,00 SNPs, we successfully identified 109 and 74 putative genetic regions associated in nutrient traits under normal (1,000 µM) and high Mg2+ (10,000 µM), respectively. Above 90% SNPs associated with nutrients including Mg2+ and only two SNPs shared between normal and high Mg2+. A single strong peak of SNPs associated with Ca concentration corresponding to candidate gene At1g60420 ARABIDOPSIS NUCLEOREDOXIN (AtNRX1) under high Mg2+ was further determined. Compared with wildtype, mutants of Atnrx1-1 and Atnrx1-2 supplied with high Mg2+ had higher Ca concentrations in the plant, and higher cytosolic Ca2+ concentrations during root elongation, as well as higher fresh weight and lateral-root number. This suggests that AtNRX1 was a critical gene negatively regulating Ca uptake under high Mg2+ conditions. The discovery could help to breed/select crops that can adapt to high-Mg2+ soils such as serpentine soils (high ratio of Mg2+: Ca2+) or Mars soil with high levels of magnesium sulfate.


  • Niu, Yaofang
  • Chen, Ping
  • Zhang, Yu
  • Wang, Zhongwei
  • Hu, Shikai
  • Jin, Gulei
  • Tang, Caixian
  • Guo, Longbiao

publication date

  • 2018