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Plant Physiol. 2001 Jul;126(3):1061-71.

The wheat cDNA LCT1 generates hypersensitivity to sodium in a salt-sensitive yeast strain.

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  • 1Department of Biology, P.O. Box 373, York YO10 5YW, United Kingdom. aa15@york.ac.uk

Abstract

Salinity affects large areas of agricultural land, and all major crop species are intolerant to high levels of sodium ions. The principal route for Na(+) uptake into plant cells remains to be identified. Non-selective ion channels and high-affinity potassium transporters have emerged as potential pathways for Na(+) entry. A third candidate for Na(+) transport into plant cells is a low-affinity cation transporter represented by the wheat protein LCT1, which is known to be permeable for a wide range of cations when expressed in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). To investigate the role of LCT1 in salt tolerance we have used the yeast strain G19, which is disrupted in the genes encoding Na(+) export pumps and as a result displays salt sensitivity comparable with wheat. After transformation with LCT1, G19 cells became hypersensitive to NaCl. We show that LCT1 expression results in a strong decrease of intracellular K(+)/Na(+) ratio in G19 cells due to the combined effect of enhanced Na(+) accumulation and loss of intracellular K(+). Na(+) uptake through LCT1 was inhibited by K(+) and Ca(2+) at high concentrations and the addition of these ions rescued growth of LCT1-transformed G19 on saline medium. LCT1 was also shown to mediate the uptake of Li(+) and Cs(+). Expression of two mutant LCT1 cDNAs with N-terminal truncations resulted in decreased Ca(2+) uptake and increased Na(+) tolerance compared with expression of the full-length LCT1. Our findings strongly suggest that LCT1 represents a molecular link between Ca(2+) and Na(+) uptake into plant cells.

PMID:
11457957
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC116463
Free PMC Article
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