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A sodium transporter HvHKT1;1 confers salt tolerance in barley via regulating tissue and cell ion homeostasis

Han, Y.ORCID: 0000-0001-6480-0398, Yin, S., Huang, L., Wu, X., Zeng, J., Liu, X., Qiu, L., Munns, R., Chen, Z-H and Zhang, G. (2018) A sodium transporter HvHKT1;1 confers salt tolerance in barley via regulating tissue and cell ion homeostasis. Plant and Cell Physiology, 59 (10). pp. 1976-1989.

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Our previous studies showed that high salt tolerance in Tibetan wild barley accessions was associated with HvHKT1;1, a member of the high-affinity potassium transporter family. However, molecular mechanisms of HvHKT1;1 for salt tolerance and its roles in K+/Na+ homeostasis remain to be elucidated. Functional characterization of HvHKT1;1 was conducted in the present study. NaCl-induced transcripts of HvHKT1;1 were significantly higher in the roots of Tibetan wild barley XZ16 relative to other genotypes, being closely associated with its higher biomass and lower tissue Na+ content under salt stress. Heterologous expression of HvHKT1;1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) and Xenopus laevis oocytes showed that HvHKT1;1 had higher selectivity for Na+ over K+ and other monovalent cations. HvHKT1;1 was found to be localized at the cell plasma membrane of root stele and epidermis. Knock-down of HvHKT1;1 in barley led to higher Na+ accumulation in both roots and leaves, while overexpression of HvHKT1;1 in salt-sensitive Arabidopsis hkt1-4 and sos1-12 loss-of-function lines resulted in significantly less shoot and root Na+ accumulation. Additionally, microelectrode ion flux measurements and root elongation assay revealed that the transgenic Arabidopsis plants exhibited a remarkable capacity for regulation of Na+, K+, Ca2+ and H+ homeostasis under salt stress. These results indicate that HvHKT1;1 is critical in radial root Na+ transport, which eventually reduces shoot Na+ accumulation. Additionally, HvHKT1;1 may be indirectly involved in retention of K+ and Ca2+ in root cells, which also improves plant salt tolerance.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright: 2018 The Author(s).
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