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Plant Cell Environ. 2008 Nov;31(11):1565-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2008.01864.x. Epub 2008 Aug 12.

Cell-specific localization of Na+ in roots of durum wheat and possible control points for salt exclusion.

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CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra, ACT 2601, Canberra 0200, Australia.


Sodium exclusion from leaves is an important mechanism for salt tolerance in durum wheat. To characterize possible control points for Na(+) exclusion, quantitative cryo-analytical scanning electron microscopy was used to determine cell-specific ion profiles across roots of two durum wheat genotypes with contrasting rates of Na(+) transport from root to shoot grown in 50 mm NaCl. The Na(+) concentration in Line 149 (low transport genotype) declined across the cortex, being highest in the epidermal and sub-epidermal cells (48 mm) and lowest in the inner cortical cells (22 mm). Na(+) was high in the pericycle (85 mm) and low in the xylem parenchyma (34 mm). The Na(+) profile in Tamaroi (high transport genotype) had a similar trend but with a high concentration (130 mm) in the xylem parenchyma. The K(+) profiles were generally inverse to those of Na(+). Chloride was only detected in the epidermis. These data suggest that the epidermal and cortical cells removed most of the Na(+) and Cl(-) from the transpiration stream before it reached the endodermis, and that the endodermis is not the control point for salt uptake by the plant. The pericycle as well as the xylem parenchyma may be important in the control of net Na(+) loading of the xylem.

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