A wealth of information on the different aspects of iron homeostasis in plants has been obtained during the last decade. However, there is no clear road-map integrating the relationships between the various components. The principal aim of the current review is to fill this gap. In this context we discuss the lack of low affinity iron uptake mechanisms in plants, the utilization of a different uptake mechanism by graminaceous plants compared to the others, as well as the roles of riboflavin, ferritin isoforms, nitric oxide, nitrosylation, heme, aconitase, and vacuolar pH. Cross-homeostasis between elements is also considered, with a specific emphasis on the relationship between iron homeostasis and phosphorus and copper deficiencies. As the environment is a crucial parameter for modulating plant responses, we also highlight how diurnal fluctuations govern iron metabolism. Evolutionary aspects of iron homeostasis have so far attracted little attention. Looking into the past can inform us on how long-term oxygen and iron-availability fluctuations have influenced the evolution of iron uptake mechanisms. Finally, we evaluate to what extent this homeostastic road map can be used for the development of novel biofortification strategies in order to alleviate iron deficiency in human.
Biotechnology Advances, 2013, Vol 31, Issue 8, p. 1292-1307