Manganese (Mn) cation diffusion facilitators (Mn-CDFs) play important roles in the Mn homeostasis of plants. In rice, the tonoplast-localized Mn-CDF metal tolerance protein 8.1 (MTP8.1) is involved in Mn detoxification in the shoots. This study functionally characterized the Mn-CDF MTP8.2 and determined its contribution to Mn tolerance. MTP8.2 was found to share 68% identity with MTP8.1 and was expressed in both the shoots and roots, but its transcription level was lower than that of MTP8.1. Transient expression of the MTP8.2:green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein and immunoblotting studies indicated that MTP8.2 was also localized to the tonoplast. MTP8.2 expression in yeast conferred tolerance to Mn but not to Fe, Zn, Co, Ni or Cd. MTP8.2 knockdown caused further growth reduction of shoots and roots in the mtp8.1 mutant, which already exhibits stunted growth under conditions of excess Mn. In the presence of high Mn, the MTP8.2 knockdown lines of the mtp8.1 mutant showed lower root Mn concentrations, as well as lower root:total Mn ratios, than those of wild-type rice and the mtp8.1 mutant. These findings indicate that MTP8.2 mediates Mn tolerance along with MTP8.1 through the sequestration of Mn into the shoot and root vacuoles.
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