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The Root of Salt Tolerance in Plants September 20, 2016

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Science.
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A group of proteins in the roots of plants may be the route (see what I did there?) by which sodium ions enter.  Too much salt will, of course, kill many plants, so knowing the identity of the protein is critical.  It turns out the protein group in question is the same group responsible for admitting water, called aquaporins. 

"We discovered that it has characteristics similar to the properties previously identified for the pores responsible for sodium ion transport," says co-lead author Dr Caitlin Byrt, Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine. "This finding opens new possibilities for modifying how plants respond to high salt and low water conditions”—not to mention better fundamental understanding of plant water transport and potentially breeding salt-tolerant plants for Central California, when the soil gets completely poisoned Real Soon Now.

 

Homework:  Caitlin S Byrt et al. Non-selective cation channel activity of aquaporin AtPIP2;1 regulated by Caand pH, Plant, Cell & Environment (2016).

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