Arsenic: Unravelling its metabolism and speciation in plants

20th New Phytologist Symposium

Arsenic-eaters: by accident or by design download the 20th NPS meeting report by Salt and Norton

Programme, abstracts and participants [PDF]


Arsenic exhibits dynamic and complex chemical speciation in plants, interacting with inter and intra cellular transport, and its speciation ultimately impacts on risks posed by crops. There have been considerable molecular and analytical breakthroughs in arsenic speciation over the last few years, with a diverse range of advanced techniques opening a new and unheralded insight to cellular speciation, such as micro-XAS and coupled HPLC-ICP-MS - ESI-MS. Recently, arsenate reductases in plants were identified and characterised, advances have been made on As-PC ABC-type vacuolar transport, methylation pathways are starting to be unravelled, and the role of aquaporins in arsenite transport identified. Ultimately, the research should be focused on combining physiology and genetics to breed plants with low arsenic in edible plant parts, with the species of arsenic present being of low toxicity. In addition, there is also considerable interest in phytoremediation aspects - such as the arsenic hyperaccumulating ferns and Arabidopsis mutations that could lead to enhanced plant uptake and tolerance. The symposium will act as a catalyst to future research by bringing together leading researchers from all aspects of arsenic-plant research to identify synergies and strategies for using and adapting plants to combat environmental issues regarding arsenic.

Symposium format

The symposium will take place over two days at the Copthorne Hotel, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. Fifteen invited talks will form the basis of discussion at what will be a relatively small meeting (up to 75 participants) which we hope will provide an ideal and informal atmosphere for the stimulation and exchange of ideas and the building of collaborations.


If you would like to receive further information relating to this meeting please get in touch with Helen Pinfield-Wells (New Phytologist) –
New Phytologist Central Office
Bailrigg House
Lancaster University
LA1 4YE, UK.
Tel: +44 1524 594 691
Fax: +44 1524 594 696