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J Exp Bot. 1997 Mar;48 Spec No:459-80. doi: 10.1093/jxb/48.Special_Issue.459.

Pathways for the permeation of Na+ and Cl- into protoplasts derived from the cortex of wheat roots.

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  • 1Adelaide Center for Plant Membrane Biology, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 5001.

Abstract

Sodium permeation into cortex cells of wheat roots was examined under conditions of high external NaCI and low Ca(2+). Two types of K(+) inward rectifier were observed in some cells. The time-dependent K(+) inward rectifier was Ca(2+)-sensitive, increasing in magnitude as external Ca(2+) was decreased from 10 mM to 0.1 mM, but did not show significant permeability to Na(+). However, the spiky inward rectifier showed significant Na+ permeation at Ca(2+) concentrations of 1 and 10 mM. In cells that initially did not show K(+) inward rectifier channels, fast and sometimes slowly activating whole-cell inward currents were induced at membrane potentials negative of zero with high external Na(+) and low Ca(2+) concentrations. With 1 mM Ca(2+) in the external solution, large inward currents were carried by Rb(+), Cs(+), K(+), Li(+), and Na(+). The permeability sequence shows that K(+), Rb(+) and Cs(+) are all more permeant than Na(+), which is about equally as permeant as Li(+). When some K(+) was present with high concentrations of Na(+) the inward currents were larger than with K(+) or Na(+) alone. About 60% of the inward current was reversibly blocked when the external Ca(2+) activity was increased from 0.03 mM to 2.7 mM (half inhibition at 0.31 mM Ca(2+) activity). Changes in the characteristics of the current noise indicated that increased Ca(2+) reduced the apparent single channel amplitude. In outside-out patches inward currents were observed at membrane potentials more positive than the equilibrium potentials for K(+) and Cl(-) when the external Na(+) concentration was high. These channels were difficult to analyse but three analysis methods yielded similar conductances of about 30 pS.

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