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J Exp Bot. 2004 Apr;55(398):939-49. Epub 2004 Mar 12.

Alkali grass resists salt stress through high [K+] and an endodermis barrier to Na+.

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  • 1Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 300 Fenglin Road, Shanghai, 200032, PR China.

Abstract

In order to understand the salt-tolerance mechanism of alkali grass (Puccinellia tenuiflora) compared with wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), [K(+)] and [Na(+)] in roots and shoots in response to salt treatments were examined with ion element analysis and X-ray microanalysis. Both the rapid K(+) and Na(+) influx in response to different NaCl and KCl treatments, and the accumulation of K(+) and Na(+) as the plants acclimated to long-term stress were studied in culture- solution experiments. A higher K(+) uptake under normal and saline conditions was evident in alkali grass compared with that in wheat, and electrophysiological analyses indicated that the different uptake probably resulted from the higher K(+)/Na(+) selectivity of the plasma membrane. When external [K(+)] was high, K(+) uptake and transport from roots to shoots were inhibited by exogenous Cs(+), while TEA (tetraethylammonium) only inhibited K(+) transport from the root to the shoot. K(+) uptake was not influenced by Cs(+) when plants were K(+) starved. It was shown by X-ray microanalysis that high [K(+)] and low [Na(+)] existed in the endodermal cells of alkali grass roots, suggesting this to be the tissue where Cs(+) inhibition occurs. These results suggest that the K(+)/Na(+) selectivity of potassium channels and the existence of an apoplastic barrier, the Casparian bands of the endodermis, lead to the lateral gradient of K(+) and Na(+) across root tissue, resulting not only in high levels of [K(+)] in the shoot but also a large [Na(+)] gradient between the root and the shoot.

PMID:
15020645
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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