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Open AccessArticle

Potassium Transporter LrKUP8 Is Essential for K+ Preservation in Lycium ruthenicum, A Salt-Resistant Desert Shrub

1,2, 1,2, 1,2 and 1,2,*
1
College of Biological Sciences and technology, Beijing Forestry University, 35 Qinghua East Road, Beijing 100083, China
2
National Engineering Laboratory for Tree Breeding, Beijing Forestry University, 35 Qinghua East Road, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(8), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10080600
Received: 24 June 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic Stress in Plants: Current Challenges and Perspectives)
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Abstract

Salt stress is a major constraint for many crops and trees. A wild species of Goji named Lycium ruthenicum is an important economic halophyte in China and has an extremely high tolerance to salinity. L. ruthenicum grows in saline soil and is known as a potash-rich species. However, its salt adaptation strategies and ion balance mechanism remains poorly understood. Potassium (K+) is one of the essential macronutrients for plant growth and development. In this study, a putative salt stress-responsive gene encoding a HAK (high-affinity K+)/KUP (K+ uptake)/KT (K+ transporter) transporter was cloned and designated as LrKUP8. This gene belongs to the cluster II group of the KT/HAK/KUP family. The expression of LrKUP8 was strongly induced under high NaCl concentrations. The OE-LrKUP8 calli grew significantly better than the vector control calli under salt stress conditions. Further estimation by ion content and micro-electrode ion flux indicated a relative weaker K+ efflux in the OE-LrKUP8 calli than in the control. Thus, a key gene involved in K+ uptake under salt condition was functionally characterized using a newly established L. ruthenicum callus transformation system. The importance of K+ regulation in L. ruthenicum under salt tolerance was highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: callus; Lycium ruthenicum; salt stress; K+/Na+ homeostasis callus; Lycium ruthenicum; salt stress; K+/Na+ homeostasis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Dai, F.; Li, A.; Rao, S.; Chen, J. Potassium Transporter LrKUP8 Is Essential for K+ Preservation in Lycium ruthenicum, A Salt-Resistant Desert Shrub. Genes 2019, 10, 600.

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