Maintenance of K+/Na+ Balance in the Roots of Nitraria sibirica Pall. in Response to NaCl Stress
Using Non-invasive Micro-test Technology (NMT), the Na+, K+ and H+ flux profiles in the root meristem regions were investigated in Nitraria sibirica Pall. seedlings under different NaCl concentrations. NaCl stress increased the K+ and Na+ contents in the roots of N. sibirica seedlings. NaCl stress significantly increased the steady Na+ efflux from the N. sibirica seedling roots. Steady K+ effluxes were measured in the control roots (without NaCl) and in the roots treated with 200 mM NaCl, and
... 200 mM NaCl, and no significant differences were observed between the two treatments. The steady K+ efflux from roots treated with 400 mM NaCl decreased gradually. NaCl treatment significantly increased the H+ influx. Pharmacological experiments showed that amiloride and sodium vanadate significantly inhibited the Na+ efflux and H+ influx, suggesting that the Na+ efflux was mediated by a Na+/H+ antiporter using energy provided by plasma membrane H+-ATPase. The NaCl-induced root K+ efflux was inhibited by the K+ channel inhibitor tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA), and was significantly increased by the H+-ATPase inhibitor sodium vanadate. The NaCl-induced K+ efflux was mediated by depolarization-activated outward-rectifying K+ channels and nonselective cation channels (NSCCs). Under salt stress, N. sibirica seedlings showed increased Na+ efflux due to increased plasma membrane H+-ATPase and Na+/H+ antiporter activity. High H+ pump activity not only restricts the Na+ influx through NSCCs, but also limits K+ leakage through outward-rectifying K+ channels and NSCCs, leading to maintenance of the K+/Na+ balance and higher salt tolerance.