Sodium ion transporter protects seed production from salt damage

June 05, 2023

Elucidation of salt tolerance mechanism in plants

Salt damage affects one-fifth of farmlands worldwide, and it is estimated that the area suffering from salt increases yearly. Although sodium is an essential element for humans, it is not a nutrient for plants; rather, it is toxic. It is known that plants are susceptible to sodium especially during the reproductive stage during which flowers and seeds are established.

The joint study group of Tohoku University, Japan Women’s University, Institute for Environmental Sciences, RIKEN CSRS, Shinshu University, and Okayama University, found that the sodium ion transporter, AtHKT1, prevents the accumulation of sodium in the stamen filaments. The group also found that when AtHKT1 was additionally expressed in the sieve element, seed formation and plant yields in a salty environment increased compared to normal conditions. The finding of salt-tolerant molecular mechanism is expected to be used for expanding the possibility of plant cultivation on salt-damaged soil and in salty environments where sea water is used.

Original article
Science Advances doi:10.1126/sciadv.adg5495
T. Uchiyama, S. Saito, T. Yamanashi, M. Kato, K. Takebayashi, S. Hamamoto, M. Tsujii, T. Takagi, N. Nagata, H. Ikeda, H. Kikunaga, T. Suda, S. Toyama, M. Miwa, S. Matsuyama, M. Seo, T. Horie, T. Kuromori, M. Yamagami, Y. Ishimaru, N. Uozumi,
"The HKT1 Na+ transporter protects plant fertility by decreasing Na+ content in stamen filaments ".
Mitsunori Seo
Senior Visiting Scientist
Mass Spectrometry and Microscopy Unit