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Plant Physiol. 1985 Jul;78(3):500-9.

Sodium and potassium fluxes and compartmentation in roots of atriplex and oat.

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Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.


K(+) and Na(+) fluxes and ion content have been studied in roots of Atriplex nummularia Lindl. and Avena sativa L. cv Goodfield grown in 3 millimolar K(+) with or without 3 or 50 millimolar NaCl. Compartmental analysis was carried out with entire root systems under steady-state conditions.Increasing ambient Na(+) concentrations from 0 to 50 millimolar altered K(+), in Atriplex, as follows: slightly decreased the cytoplasmic content (Q(c)), the vacuolar content (Q(v)), and the plasma membrane influx and efflux. Xylem transport for K(+) decreased by 63% in Atriplex. For oat roots, similar increases in Na(+) altered K(+) parameters as follows: plasma membrane influx and efflux decreased by about 80%. Q(c) decreased by 65%, and xylem transport decreased by 91%. No change, however, was observed in Q(v) for K(+). Increasing ambient Na(+) resulted in higher (3 to 5-fold) Na(+) fluxes across the plasma membrane and in Q(c) of both species. In Atriplex, Na(+) fluxes across the tonoplast and Q(v) increased as external Na(+) was increased. In oat, however, no significant change was observed in Na(+) flux across the tonoplast or in Q(v) as external Na(+) was increased. In oat roots, Na(+) reduced K(+) uptake markedly; in Atriplex, this was not as pronounced. However, even at high Na(+) levels, the influx transport system at the plasma membrane of both species preferred K(+) over Na(+).Based upon the Ussing-Teorell equation, it was concluded that active inward transport of K(+) occurred across the plasma membrane, and passive movement of K(+) occurred across the tonoplast in both species. Na(+), in oat roots, was actively pumped out of the cytoplasm to the exterior, whereas, in Atriplex, Na(+) was passively distributed between the free space, cytoplasm, and vacuole.

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