Global contamination of soils with toxic cadmium (Cd) is a serious health threat. Here we found that a tandem duplication of a gene encoding a manganese/Cd transporter, OsNramp5, was responsible for low-Cd accumulation in Pokkali, an old rice cultivar. This duplication doubled the expression of OsNramp5 gene but did not alter its spatial expression pattern and cellular localization. Higher expression of OsNramp5 increased uptake of Cd and Mn into the root cells but decreased Cd release to the xylem. Introgression of this allele into Koshihikari, an elite rice cultivar, through backcrossing significantly reduced Cd accumulation in the grain when cultivated in soil heavily contaminated with Cd but did not affect both grain yield and eating quality. This study not only reveals the molecular mechanism underlying low-Cd accumulation but also provides a useful target for breeding rice cultivars with low-Cd accumulation.
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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request. Source data are provided with this paper.
Sequence data of this article have been registered in the DDBJ/GenBank/EMBL databases under the accession numbers LC717507 for duplicated OsNramp5 in Pokkali.
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This work was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (KAKENHI grant numbers 16H06296 and 21H05034 to J.F.M.) and the Key Project of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (number 42020104004 to R.F.S.). We thank A. Morita, Y. Takahashi, M. Hikasa, Y. Murasawa and S. Rikiishi for their experimental assistance.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Yu, E., Wang, W., Yamaji, N. et al. Duplication of a manganese/cadmium transporter gene reduces cadmium accumulation in rice grain. Nat Food 3, 597–607 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-022-00569-w
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