University Of Tasmania

File(s) not publicly available

Effect of Secondary Metabolites Associated with Anaerobic Soil Conditions on Ion Fluxes and Electrophysiology in Barley Roots

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 20:22 authored by Pang, J, Tracey Cuin, Svetlana ShabalaSvetlana Shabala, Meixue ZhouMeixue Zhou, Neville MendhamNeville Mendham, Sergey ShabalaSergey Shabala
The effects of secondary metabolites produced by waterlogged soils on net K +, H +, and Ca 2+ fluxes were studied in the mature zone of roots of two barley (Hordeum vulgare) cultivars contrasting in their waterlogging (WL) tolerance using the noninvasive microelectrode ion flux measuring technique. In WL-sensitive variety 'Naso Nijo', all three lower monocarboxylic acids (formic, acetic, and propionic acids) and three phenolic acids (benzoic, 2-hydroxybenzoic, 4-hydroxybenzoic acids) caused a substantial shift toward steady K + efflux, accompanied by an immediate net influx of H +. Detrimental effects of secondary metabolites on K + homeostasis in root cells were absent in WL-tolerant 'TX' variety. Root treatment with Mn 2+ caused only a temporary K + loss that returned to the initial level 10 min after treatment. Phenolic acids slightly increased Ca 2+ influx immediately after treatment, while other metabolites tested resulted in transient Ca 2+ efflux from the root. In the long-term (24 h) treatment, all metabolites tested significantly reduced K + uptake and the adverse effects of phenolic acids were smaller than for monocarboxylic acids and Mn 2+. Treatment with monocarboxylic acids for 24 h shifted H + from net efflux to net influx, while all three phenolic acids did not cause significant effects compared with the control. Based on results of pharmacological experiments and membrane potential measurements, a model explaining the effects of secondary metabolites on membrane transport activity is proposed. We also suggest that plant tolerance to these secondary metabolites could be considered a useful trait in breeding programs. © 2007 American Society of Plant Biologists.


Grains Research & Development Corporation


Publication title

Plant Physiology








Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


American Society of Plant Biologists

Place of publication

United States of America

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives


Usage metrics

    University Of Tasmania