Publications by authors named "Suji Somasundaram"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

To exclude or to accumulate? Revealing the role of the sodium HKT1;5 transporter in plant adaptive responses to varying soil salinity.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2021 Dec 19;169:333-342. Epub 2021 Nov 19.

School of Science, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Penrith, NSW, 2751, Australia.

Arid/semi-arid and coastal agricultural areas of the world are especially vulnerable to climate change-driven soil salinity. Salinity tolerance in plants is a complex trait, with salinity negatively affecting crop yield. Plants adopt a range of mechanisms to combat salinity, with many transporter genes being implicated in Na-partitioning processes. Within these, the high-affinity K (HKT) family of transporters play a critical role in K and Na homeostasis in plants. Among HKT transporters, Type I transporters are Na-specific. While Arabidopsis has only one Na  -specific HKT (AtHKT1;1), cereal crops have a multiplicity of Type I and II HKT transporters. AtHKT1; 1 (Arabidopsis thaliana) and HKT1; 5 (cereal crops) 'exclude' Na from the xylem into xylem parenchyma in the root, reducing shoot Na and hence, confer sodium tolerance. However, more recent data from Arabidopsis and crop species show that AtHKT1;1/HKT1;5 alleles have a strong genetic association with 'shoot sodium accumulation' and concomitant salt tolerance. The review tries to resolve these two seemingly contradictory effects of AtHKT1;1/HKT1;5 operation (shoot exclusion vs shoot accumulation), both conferring salinity tolerance and suggests that contrasting phenotypes are attributable to either hyper-functional or weak AtHKT1;1/HKT1;5 alleles/haplotypes and are under strong selection by soil salinity levels. It also suggests that opposite balancing mechanisms involving xylem ion loading in these contrasting phenotypes exist that require transporters such as SOS1 and CCC. While HKT1; 5 is a crucial but not sole determinant of salinity tolerance, investigation of the adaptive benefit(s) conferred by naturally occurring intermediate HKT1;5 alleles will be important under a climate change scenario.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.11.030DOI Listing
December 2021

Homology Modeling Identifies Crucial Amino-Acid Residues That Confer Higher Na+ Transport Capacity of OcHKT1;5 from Oryza coarctata Roxb.

Plant Cell Physiol 2020 Jul;61(7):1321-1334

Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, III Cross Street, Taramani Institutional Area, Chennai 600113, India.

HKT1;5 loci/alleles are important determinants of crop salinity tolerance. HKT1;5s encode plasmalemma-localized Na+ transporters, which move xylem Na+ into xylem parenchyma cells, reducing shoot Na+ accumulation. Allelic variation in rice OsHKT1;5 sequence in specific landraces (Nona Bokra OsHKT1;5-NB/Nipponbare OsHKT1;5-Ni) correlates with variation in salt tolerance. Oryza coarctata, a halophytic wild rice, grows in fluctuating salinity at the seawater-estuarine interface in Indian and Bangladeshi coastal regions. The distinct transport characteristics of the shoots and roots expressing the O. coarctata OcHKT1;5 transporter are reported vis-à-vis OsHKT1;5-Ni. Yeast sodium extrusion-deficient cells expressing OcHKT1;5 are sensitive to increasing Na+ (10-100 mM). Electrophysiological measurements in Xenopus oocytes expressing O. coarctata or rice HKT1;5 transporters indicate that OcHKT1;5, like OsHKT1;5-Ni, is a Na+-selective transporter, but displays 16-fold lower affinity for Na+ and 3.5-fold higher maximal conductance than OsHKT1;5-Ni. For Na+ concentrations >10 mM, OcHKT1;5 conductance is higher than that of OsHKT1;5-Ni, indicating the potential of OcHKT1;5 for increasing domesticated rice salt tolerance. Homology modeling/simulation suggests that four key amino-acid changes in OcHKT1;5 (in loops on the extracellular side; E239K, G207R, G214R, L363V) account for its lower affinity and higher Na+ conductance vis-à-vis OsHKT1;5-Ni. Of these, E239K in OcHKT1;5 confers lower affinity for Na+ transport, as evidenced by Na+ transport assays of reciprocal site-directed mutants for both transporters (OcHKT1;5-K239E, OsHKT1;5-Ni-E270K) in Xenopus oocytes. Both transporters have likely analogous roles in xylem sap desalinization, and differences in xylem sap Na+ concentrations in both species are attributed to differences in Na+ transport affinity/conductance between the transporters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcaa061DOI Listing
July 2020
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