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Plant Physiol. 2007 Oct;145(2):559-71. Epub 2007 Aug 31.

Low-affinity Na+ uptake in the halophyte Suaeda maritima.

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  • 1School of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystem, Ministry of Agriculture, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, People's Republic of China.


Na(+) uptake by plant roots has largely been explored using species that accumulate little Na(+) into their shoots. By way of contrast, the halophyte Suaeda maritima accumulates, without injury, concentrations of the order of 400 mM NaCl in its leaves. Here we report that cAMP and Ca(2+) (blockers of nonselective cation channels) and Li(+) (a competitive inhibitor of Na(+) uptake) did not have any significant effect on the uptake of Na(+) by the halophyte S. maritima when plants were in 25 or 150 mM NaCl (150 mM NaCl is near optimal for growth). However, the inhibitors of K(+) channels, TEA(+) (10 mM), Cs(+) (3 mM), and Ba(2+) (5 mM), significantly reduced the net uptake of Na(+) from 150 mM NaCl over 48 h, by 54%, 24%, and 29%, respectively. TEA(+) (10 mM), Cs(+) (3 mM), and Ba(2+) (1 mm) also significantly reduced (22)Na(+) influx (measured over 2 min in 150 mM external NaCl) by 47%, 30%, and 31%, respectively. In contrast to the situation in 150 mm NaCl, neither TEA(+) (1-10 mM) nor Cs(+) (0.5-10 mM) significantly reduced net Na(+) uptake or (22)Na(+) influx in 25 mM NaCl. Ba(2+) (at 5 mm) did significantly decrease net Na(+) uptake (by 47%) and (22)Na(+) influx (by 36% with 1 mM Ba(2+)) in 25 mM NaCl. K(+) (10 or 50 mM) had no effect on (22)Na(+) influx at concentrations below 75 mM NaCl, but the influx of (22)Na(+) was inhibited by 50 mM K(+) when the external concentration of NaCl was above 75 mM. The data suggest that neither nonselective cation channels nor a low-affinity cation transporter are major pathways for Na(+) entry into root cells. We propose that two distinct low-affinity Na(+) uptake pathways exist in S. maritima: Pathway 1 is insensitive to TEA(+) or Cs(+), but sensitive to Ba(2+) and mediates Na(+) uptake under low salinities (25 mM NaCl); pathway 2 is sensitive to TEA(+), Cs(+), and Ba(2+) and mediates Na(+) uptake under higher external salt concentrations (150 mM NaCl). Pathway 1 might be mediated by a high-affinity K transporter-type transporter and pathway 2 by an AKT1-type channel.

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