University Of Tasmania
140619 - How to grow a tree - accepted.pdf (745.34 kB)

How to grow a tree: plant voltage-dependent cation channels in the spotlight of evolution

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 17:20 authored by Dreyer, I, Frances SussmilchFrances Sussmilch, Fukushima, K, Riadi, G, Becker, D, Schultz, J, Hedrich, R
Phylogenetic analysis can be a powerful tool for generating hypotheses regarding the evolution of physiological processes. Here, we provide an updated view of the evolution of the main cation channels in plant electrical signalling: the Shaker family of voltage-gated potassium channels and the two-pore cation (K+) channel (TPC1) family. Strikingly, the TPC1 family followed the same conservative evolutionary path as one particular subfamily of Shaker channels (Kout) and remained highly invariant after terrestrialisation, suggesting that electrical signalling was, and remains, key to survival on land. We note that phylogenetic analyses can have pitfalls, which may lead to erroneous conclusions. To avoid these in the future, we suggest guidelines for analyses of ion channel evolution in plants.


Australian Research Council


Publication title

Trends in Plant Science






School of Natural Sciences


Elsevier Science London

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84 Theobalds Rd, London, England, Wc1X 8Rr

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Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences

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