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BMC Plant Biol. 2007 Apr 5;7:18.

Impact of AtNHX1, a vacuolar Na+/H+ antiporter, upon gene expression during short- and long-term salt stress in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.



AtNHX1, the most abundant vacuolar Na+/H+ antiporter in Arabidopsis thaliana, mediates the transport of Na+ and K+ into the vacuole, influencing plant development and contributing to salt tolerance. In this report, microarray expression profiles of wild type plants, a T-DNA insertion knockout mutant of AtNHX1 (nhx1), and a 'rescued' line (NHX1::nhx1) were exposed to both short (12 h and 48 h) and long (one and two weeks) durations of a non-lethal salt stress to identify key gene transcripts associated with the salt response that are influenced by AtNHX1.


147 transcripts showed both salt responsiveness and a significant influence of AtNHX1. Fifty-seven of these genes showed an influence of the antiporter across all salt treatments, while the remaining genes were influenced as a result of a particular duration of salt stress. Most (69%) of the genes were up-regulated in the absence of AtNHX1, with the exception of transcripts encoding proteins involved with metabolic and energy processes that were mostly down-regulated.


While part of the AtNHX1-influenced transcripts were unclassified, other transcripts with known or putative roles showed the importance of AtNHX1 to key cellular processes that were not necessarily limited to the salt stress response; namely calcium signaling, sulfur metabolism, cell structure and cell growth, as well as vesicular trafficking and protein processing. Only a small number of other salt-responsive membrane transporter transcripts appeared significantly influenced by AtNHX1.

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