News From the Field
Arsenic Hyperaccumulating Ferns: How Do They Survive?
June 8, 2010
Although arsenic is an extremely toxic compound, some ferns accumulate 1-3 percent of their dry weight as arsenic without adverse affects. Recent research published in Plant Cell shows that these ferns have an arsenite transporter protein that allows the fern to sequester arsenic in a biologically inactive form. This protein is also found in mosses, gymnosperms, bacteria, fungi and yeast, but not in angiosperms.
American Society of Plant Biologists
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