Mugineic Acid

Mugineic acid is an amino acid excreted by some graminaceous (grassy) plants under conditions of iron deficiency as part of a strategy of solubilizing Fe from the root environment for uptake by the plant. Mugineic acid is closely related to its biochemical precursor, nicotinamine, and to a number of other compounds that also have been identified as phytosiderophores in graminaceous plants: 3-hydroxymugineic acid, 2′-deoxymugineic acid, avenic acid, and distichonic acid.


Highlighting Features

Show central Fe and nearest neighbors: 2 amino N, 3 carboxylate O, and 1 alcohol O.

The effectiveness of mugineic acid under iron-deficient conditions is dependent not only upon the iron chelating properties of the Fe-mugineic acid complex itself but also upon the presence of a plant membrane carrier that recognizes and absorbs the Fe-mugineic acid complex almost exclusively.

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Ma, JF, and K Nomoto. 1996. Effective regulation of iron acquisition in graminaceous plants. The role of mugineic acids as phytosiderophores. Physiol. Plant. 97:609-617.
Mino, Y, et al. 1983. Mugineic acid-iron(III) complex and its structurally analogous cobalt(III) complex: Characterization and implication for absorption and transport of iron in graminaceous plants. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 105:4671-4676. [crystal structure]