University Of Tasmania

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Hypoxia sensing in plants: On a quest for ion channels as putative oxygen sensors

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 08:41 authored by Wang, F, Chen, Z-H, Sergey ShabalaSergey Shabala
Over 17 million km2 of land is affected by soil flooding every year, resulting in substantial yield losses and jeopardizing food security across the globe. A key step in resolving this problem and creating stress-tolerant cultivars is an understanding of the mechanisms by which plants sense low-oxygen stress. In this work, we review the current knowledge about the oxygen-sensing and signaling pathway in mammalian and plant systems and postulate the potential role of ion channels as putative oxygen sensors in plant roots. We first discuss the definition and requirements for the oxygen sensor and the difference between sensing and signaling. We then summarize the literature and identify several known candidates for oxygen sensing in the mammalian literature. This includes transient receptor potential (TRP) channels; K+-permeable channels (Kv, BK and TASK); Ca2+ channels (RyR and TPC); and various chemo-and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-dependent oxygen sensors. Identified key oxygen-sensing domains (PAS, GCS, GAF and PHD) in mammalian systems are used to predict the potential plant counterparts in Arabidopsis. Finally, the sequences of known mammalian ion channels with reported roles in oxygen sensing were employed to BLAST the Arabidopsis genome for the candidate genes. Several plasma membrane and tonoplast ion channels (such as TPC, AKT and KCO) and oxygen domain-containing proteins with predicted oxygen-sensing ability were identified and discussed. We propose a testable model for potential roles of ion channels in plant hypoxia sensing.


Publication title

Plant and Cell Physiology










Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Oxford Univ Press

Place of publication

Great Clarendon St, Oxford, England, Ox2 6Dp

Rights statement

Copyright 2017 The Authors

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Horticultural crops not elsewhere classified