Revealing mechanisms of salinity tissue tolerance in succulent halophytes: A case study for Carpobrotus rossi
Zeng, F and Shabala, S and Maksimovic, JD and Maksimovic, V and Bonales-Alatorre, E and Shabala, L and Yu, M and Zhang, G and Zvanovic, BD, Revealing mechanisms of salinity tissue tolerance in succulent halophytes: A case study for Carpobrotus rossi, Plant Cell and Environment, 41, (11) pp. 2654-2667. ISSN 0140-7791 (2018) [Refereed Article]
Efforts to breed salt tolerant crops could benefit from investigating previously unexplored traits. One of them is a tissue succulency. In this work, we have undertaken an electrophysiological and biochemical comparison of properties of mesophyll and storage parenchyma leaf tissues of a succulent halophyte species Carpobrotus rosii ("pigface"). We show that storage parenchyma cells of C. rossii act as Na+ sink and possessed both higher Na+ sequestration (298 vs. 215 mM NaCl in mesophyll) and better K+ retention ability. The latter traits was determined by the higher rate of H+‐ATPase operation and higher nonenzymatic antioxidant activity in this tissue. Na+ uptake in both tissues was insensitive to either Gd3+ or elevated Ca2+ ruling out involvement of nonselective cation channels as a major path for Na+ entry. Patch‐clamp experiments have revealed that Caprobrotus plants were capable to downregulate activity of fast vacuolar channels when exposed to saline environment; this ability was higher in the storage parenchyma cells compared with mesophyll. Also, storage parenchyma cells have constitutively lower number of open slow vacuolar channels, whereas in mesophyll, this suppression was inducible by salt. Taken together, these results provide a mechanistic basis for efficient Na+ sequestration in the succulent leaf tissues.