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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092648

Pumpkin CmHKT1;1 Controls Shoot Na+ Accumulation via Limiting Na+ Transport from Rootstock to Scion in Grafted Cucumber

Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Biology, Ministry of Education, College of Horticulture and Forestry Sciences, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
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Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 3 September 2018 / Accepted: 4 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Transporters and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants)
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Abstract

Soil salinity adversely affects the growth and yield of crops, including cucumber, one of the most important vegetables in the world. Grafting with salt-tolerant pumpkin as the rootstock effectively improves the growth of cucumber under different salt conditions by limiting Na+ transport from the pumpkin rootstock to the cucumber scion. High-affinity potassium transporters (HKTs) are crucial for the long distance transport of Na+ in plants, but the function of pumpkin HKTs in this process of grafted cucumber plants remains unclear. In this work, we have characterized CmHKT1;1 as a member of the HKT gene family in Cucurbita moschata and observed an obvious upregulation of CmHKT1;1 in roots under NaCl stress conditions. Heterologous expression analyses in yeast mutants indicated that CmHKT1;1 is a Na+-selective transporter. The transient expression in tobacco epidermal cells and in situ hybridization showed CmHKT1;1 localization at plasma membrane, and preferential expression in root stele. Moreover, ectopic expression of CmHKT1;1 in cucumber decreased the Na+ accumulation in the plants shoots. Finally, the CmHKT1;1 transgenic line as the rootstock decreased the Na+ content in the wild type shoots. These findings suggest that CmHKT1;1 plays a key role in the salt tolerance of grafted cucumber by limiting Na+ transport from the rootstock to the scion and can further be useful for engineering salt tolerance in cucurbit crops. View Full-Text
Keywords: grafted cucumber; pumpkin; salt tolerance; high-affinity potassium transporter (HKT); sodium transport grafted cucumber; pumpkin; salt tolerance; high-affinity potassium transporter (HKT); sodium transport
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Sun, J.; Cao, H.; Cheng, J.; He, X.; Sohail, H.; Niu, M.; Huang, Y.; Bie, Z. Pumpkin CmHKT1;1 Controls Shoot Na+ Accumulation via Limiting Na+ Transport from Rootstock to Scion in Grafted Cucumber. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 2648.

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