Plant Science

Salty Roots, Stunted Roots

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Science  19 Oct 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6105, pp. 307
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6105.307-a
CREDIT: DIANE DIEDERICH/ISTOCK PHOTO

Too much salt is as bad for plants as it is for us. For plants, salt stress and drought stress go hand in hand. Some of the more rapid responses to salt stress are signaled through actions of the sucrose nonfermenting-related kinase 2 (snrk2) gene family. Members of this gene family fall into three groups, depending on their response to the hormone ABA. Studying Arabidopsis, McLoughlin et al. analyzed the specific contributions of two members of this gene family to salt stress. snrk2.4 and snrk2.10, which encode proteins that are not particularly responsive to ABA signaling, responded within minutes to salt stress but delivered different functions. SnRK2.10 seemed to primarily sustain the emergence of lateral roots in excessively salty conditions, whereas SnRK2.4 had a more singular effect supporting primary root growth. After the initial, transient response, SnRK2.4 relocalized into punctate subcellular structures, which suggests that mechanical stress triggered through changes in osmotic pressure also signal subcellular relocalization of these rapid-response kinases.

Plant J. 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2012.05089.x (2012).

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