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Plant Cell. 2002 Feb;14(2):465-77.

The putative plasma membrane Na(+)/H(+) antiporter SOS1 controls long-distance Na(+) transport in plants.

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  • 1Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


The salt tolerance locus SOS1 from Arabidopsis has been shown to encode a putative plasma membrane Na(+)/H(+) antiporter. In this study, we examined the tissue-specific pattern of gene expression as well as the Na(+) transport activity and subcellular localization of SOS1. When expressed in a yeast mutant deficient in endogenous Na(+) transporters, SOS1 was able to reduce Na(+) accumulation and improve salt tolerance of the mutant cells. Confocal imaging of a SOS1-green fluorescent protein fusion protein in transgenic Arabidopsis plants indicated that SOS1 is localized in the plasma membrane. Analysis of SOS1 promoter-beta-glucuronidase transgenic Arabidopsis plants revealed preferential expression of SOS1 in epidermal cells at the root tip and in parenchyma cells at the xylem/symplast boundary of roots, stems, and leaves. Under mild salt stress (25 mM NaCl), sos1 mutant shoot accumulated less Na(+) than did the wild-type shoot. However, under severe salt stress (100 mM NaCl), sos1 mutant plants accumulated more Na(+) than did the wild type. There also was greater Na(+) content in the xylem sap of sos1 mutant plants exposed to 100 mM NaCl. These results suggest that SOS1 is critical for controlling long-distance Na(+) transport from root to shoot. We present a model in which SOS1 functions in retrieving Na(+) from the xylem stream under severe salt stress, whereas under mild salt stress it may function in loading Na(+) into the xylem.

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