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Friend or Foe? Chloride Patterning in Halophytes
- Bazihizina, Nadia, Colmer, Timothy D., Cuin, Tracey Ann, Mancuso, Stefano, Shabala, Sergey
- Trends in plant science 2019 v.24 no.2 pp. 142-151
- breeding, chlorides, energy, halophytes, nitrates, phytomass, proteins, salt tolerance
- In this opinion article, we challenge the traditional view that breeding for reduced Cl− uptake would benefit plant salinity tolerance. A negative correlation between shoot Cl− concentration and plant biomass does not hold for halophytes – naturally salt tolerant species. We argue that, under physiologically relevant conditions, Cl− uptake requires plants to invest metabolic energy, and that the poor selectivity of Cl−-transporting proteins may explain the reported negative correlation between Cl− accumulation and crop salinity tolerance. We propose a new paradigm: salinity tolerance could be achieved by improving the selectivity of some of the broadly selective anion-transporting proteins (e.g., for NO3−>Cl−), alongside tight control of Cl− uptake, rather than targeting traits mediating its efflux from the root.