A multi‐level response to DNA damage induced by aluminium
Aluminium (Al) ions are one of the primary growth‐limiting factors for plants on acid soils, globally restricting agriculture. Despite its impact, little is known about Al action in planta. Earlier work has indicated that, among other effects, Al induces DNA damage. However, the loss of major DNA damage response regulators, such SOG1, partially suppressed the growth reduction in plants seen on Al‐containing media. This raised the question whether Al actually causes DNA damage and, if so, how. Here, we provide cytological and genetic data corroborating that exposure to Al leads to DNA double‐strand breaks. We find that the Al‐induced damage specifically involves homology‐dependent (HR) recombination repair. Using an Al toxicity assay that delivers higher Al concentrations than used in previous tests, we find that sog1 mutants become highly sensitive to Al. This indicates a multi‐level response to Al‐induced DNA damage in plants.
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