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GABA operates upstream of H+-ATPase and improves salinity tolerance in Arabidopsis by enabling cytosolic K+ retention and Na+ exclusion


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Su, N, Wu, Q, Chen, J, Shabala, L ORCID: 0000-0002-5360-8496, Mithofer, A, Wang, H ORCID: 0000-0001-6455-0907, Qu, M, Yu, M, Cui, J and Shabala, S ORCID: 0000-0003-2345-8981 2019 , 'GABA operates upstream of H+-ATPase and improves salinity tolerance in Arabidopsis by enabling cytosolic K+ retention and Na+ exclusion' , Journal of Experimental Botany, vol. 70, no. 21 , pp. 6349-6361 , doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz367.

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The non-protein amino acid γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) rapidly accumulates in plant tissues in response to salinity. However, the physiological rationale for this elevation remains elusive. This study compared electrophysiological and whole-plant responses of salt-treated Arabidopsis mutants pop2-5 and gad1,2, which have different abilities to accumulate GABA. The pop2-5 mutant, which was able to overaccumulate GABA in its roots, showed a salt-tolerant phenotype. On the contrary, the gad1,2 mutant, lacking the ability to convert glutamate to GABA, showed oversensitivity to salinity. The greater salinity tolerance of the pop2-5 line was explained by: (i) the role of GABA in stress-induced activation of H+-ATPase, thus leading to better membrane potential maintenance and reduced stress-induced K+ leak from roots; (ii) reduced rates of net Na+ uptake; (iii) higher expression of SOS1 and NHX1 genes in the leaves, which contributed to reducing Na+ concentration in the cytoplasm by excluding Na+ to apoplast and sequestering Na+ in the vacuoles; (iv) a lower rate of H2O2 production and reduced reactive oxygen species-inducible K+ efflux from root epidermis; and (v) better K+ retention in the shoot associated with the lower expression level of GORK channels in plant leaves.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Su, N and Wu, Q and Chen, J and Shabala, L and Mithofer, A and Wang, H and Qu, M and Yu, M and Cui, J and Shabala, S
Keywords: Arabidopsis, H+-ATPase, hydrogen peroxide, potassium retention, reactive oxygen species, sodium sequestration
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Botany
Publisher: Oxford Univ Press
ISSN: 0022-0957
DOI / ID Number: 10.1093/jxb/erz367
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© The Author(s) 2019. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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