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Journal of Botany
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 219462, 8 pages
Review Article

Aluminium Toxicity Targets in Plants

CESAM and Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

Received 30 November 2011; Accepted 21 May 2012

Academic Editor: Helena Oliveira

Copyright © 2012 Sónia Silva. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aluminium (Al) is the third most abundant metallic element in soil but becomes available to plants only when the soil pH drops below 5.5. At those conditions, plants present several signals of Al toxicity. As reported by literature, major consequences of Al exposure are the decrease of plant production and the inhibition of root growth. The root growth inhibition may be directly/indirectly responsible for the loss of plant production. In this paper the most remarkable symptoms of Al toxicity in plants and the latest findings in this area are addressed. Root growth inhibition, ROS production, alterations on root cell wall and plasma membrane, nutrient unbalances, callose accumulation, and disturbance of cytoplasmic Ca2+ homeostasis, among other signals of Al toxicity are discussed, and, when possible, the behavior of Al-tolerant versus Al-sensitive genotypes under Al is compared.