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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10261/37778
Title: Plants use calcium to resolve salt stress.
Authors: Bressan, Ray A.; Hasegawa, Paul M.; Pardo, José M.
Keywords: Calcium
Issue Date: 1-Nov-1998
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Trends in Plant Science 3(11): 411-412 (1998).
Abstract: Long ago plants ventured forth from the relatively stable world of the oceans to the land, where mineral nutrients and water were often scarce commodities. In their quest to cope with the changing conditions of life on land, many plant species appear to have lost much of their ability to deal with higher sodium concentrations. With the exception of the halophytes, which occupy the sodium-rich terrestrial habitats of estuaries, marshes and other niche environments, land plants have evolved a requirement for fresh water. However, in recent years, we have learned that the cells of most higher plants are capable of adjusting to high levels of NaCl. Indeed, if exposed in a gradual manner, plants can grow and reproduce during exposure to very high concentrations of sodium[1]. It is this ability to adjust that has led many to believe that most of the cellular machinery for dealing with excessive sodium still exists in the majority of plant species. What distinguishes many salt tolerant species is the ability to engage that machinery when needed. By understanding the signaling system that allows a plant to sense excess sodium in the environment and to make appropriate adjustments, plant biologists hope to be able to influence the growth behavior of crop plants in arid and inhospitable conditions. When plants are challenged with salinity stress, an increase in the concentration of Ca2+ often can ameliorate the inhibitory effects on growth[2]. Although the underlying mechanism has remained largely unexplained, prevailing models for Ca2+ function include both membrane stabilization and signaling roles. Numerous studies indicate that a variety of stress conditions, including salinity, induce cytosolic Ca2+ accumulation[3]. The role of Ca2+ as a second messenger in many biological systems, coupled with these observations, indicates that plants are able to adjust to high salt environments by activating a signal transduction system involving Ca2+.
Description: 2 pages, 1 figure, 19 references.
Publisher version (URL): doi:10.1016/S1360-1385(98)01331-4
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10261/37778
ISSN: 1360-1385
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