University Of Tasmania

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It is not all about sodium: revealing tissue specificity and signalling roles of potassium in plant responses to salt stress

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 23:42 authored by Wu, H, Zhang, X, Giraldo, JP, Sergey ShabalaSergey Shabala

Background: Salinity is a global issue threatening agricultural production systems across the globe. While the major focus of plant salinity stress tolerance research has been on sodium, the transport and physiological roles of K+ in plant salt stress response has received less attention. This review attempts to bridge this knowledge gap.

Scope: The major emphasis is on newly proposed K+ signalling roles and plant salt tolerance cell- and tissue specificity. In addition to summarizing the importance of K+ retention for plant salt tolerance, we focus on aspects that were not the subject of previous reviews including (1) the importance of HAK/KUP family of transporters in K+ uptake in salt stressed plants and its possible linkage with Ca2+ and ROS signalling; (2) control of xylem K+ loading in salt stressed plants, control of phloem K+ recirculation in salt stressed plants and the potential importance of plants' ability to efficiently coordinate K+ signals between root and shoot; (3) the buffering capacity of the vacuolar K+ pool; and (4) mechanisms of restoring the basal cytosolic K+ levels by coordinated activity of tonoplast K+-permeable channels.

Conclusions: Overall, this review emphasises the need to fully understand the newly emerging roles of K+ and regulation of its transport for improving salinity stress tolerance in plants.


Publication title

Plant and Soil










Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


Kluwer Academic Publ

Place of publication

Van Godewijckstraat 30, Dordrecht, Netherlands, 3311 Gz

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Other plant production and plant primary products not elsewhere classified