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A critical role of sodium flux via the plasma Membrane Na+/H+ exchanger SOS1 in the salt tolerance of rice

El Mahi H., Pérez-Hormaeche J., De Luca A., Villalta Alonso I., Espartero J., Gámez-Arjona F., Fernández J.L., Bundó M., Mendoza I., Mieulet D., Lalanne E., Lee S.Y., Yun D.J., Guiderdoni E., Aguilar M., Leidi E.O., Pardo J.M., Quintero F.J.. 2019. Plant Physiology, 180 (2) : p. 1046-1065.

DOI: 10.1104/pp.19.00324

Rice (Oryza sativa) stands among the world's most important crop species. Rice is salt sensitive, and the undue accumulation of sodium ions (Na+) in shoots has the strongest negative correlation with rice productivity under long-term salinity. The plasma membrane Na+/H+ exchanger protein Salt Overly Sensitive 1 (SOS1) is the sole Na+ efflux transporter that has been genetically characterized to date. Here, the importance of SOS1-facilitated Na+ flux in the salt tolerance of rice was analyzed in a reversegenetics approach. A sos1 loss-of-function mutant displayed exceptional salt sensitivity that was correlated with excessive Na+ intake and impaired Na+ loading into the xylem, thus indicating that SOS1 controls net root Na+ uptake and long-distance Na+ transport to shoots. The acute Na+ sensitivity of sos1 plants at low NaCl concentrations allowed analysis of the transcriptional response to sodicity stress without effects of the osmotic stress intrinsic to high-salinity treatments. In contrast with that in the wild type, sos1 mutant roots displayed preferential down-regulation of stress-related genes in response to salt treatment, despite the greater intensity of stress experienced by the mutant. These results suggest there is impaired stress detection or an inability to mount a comprehensive response to salinity in sos1. In summary, the plasma membrane Na+/H+ exchanger SOS1 plays a major role in the salt tolerance of rice by controlling Na+ homeostasis and possibly contributing to the sensing of sodicity stress.

Mots-clés : oryza sativa; riz; tolérance au sel; stress osmotique; sodium; génétique moléculaire; homéostasie; génétique inverse

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