Na+-K+ transport in roots under salt stress

Isaac Zepeda-Jazo, Sergey Shabala, Zhonghua Chen, Igor I. Pottosin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Salinity causes billion dollar losses in annual crop production. So far, the main avenue in breeding crops for salt tolerance has been to reduce Na + uptake and transport from roots to shoots. Recendy we have demonstrated that retention of cytosolic K+ could be considered as another key factor in conferring salt tolerance in plants. A subsequent study has shown that Na+-induced K+ efflux in barley root epidermis occurs primarily via outward rectifying K+ channels (KORC). Surprisingly, expression of KORC was similar in salt- tolerant and sensitive genotypes. However, the former were able to better oppose Na+-induced depolarization via enhanced activity of plasma membrane H+-ATPaSe (thus minimizing K+ leak from the cytosol). In addition to highly K+-selective KORC channels, activities of several types of non-selective cation channels were detected at depolarizing potentials. Here we show that the expression of one of them, NORC, was significandy lower in salt-tolerant genotypes. As NORC is capable of mediating K+ efflux coupled to Na+ influx, we suggest that the restriction of its activity could be beneficial for plants under salt stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-403
Number of pages3
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


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