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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2003;54:575-603.

Molecular mechanisms and regulation of K+ transport in higher plants.

Author information

1
UMR 5004 CNRS/ENSA-M/INRA/UM2, Place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, France. very@ensam.inra.fr

Abstract

Potassium (K+) plays a number of important roles in plant growth and development. Over the past few years, molecular approaches associated with electrophysiological analyses have greatly advanced our understanding of K+ transport in plants. A large number of genes encoding K+ transport systems have been identified, revealing a high level of complexity. Characterization of some transport systems is providing exciting information at the molecular level on functions such as root K+ uptake and secretion into the xylem sap, K+ transport in guard cells, or K+ influx into growing pollen tubes. In this review, we take stock of this recent molecular information. The main families of plant K+ transport systems (Shaker and KCO channels, KUP/HAK/KT and HKT transporters) are described, along with molecular data on how these systems are regulated. Finally, we discuss a few physiological questions on which molecular studies have shed new light.

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