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High External K+ Concentrations Impair Pi Nutrition, Induce the Phosphate Starvation Response, and Reduce Arsenic Toxicity in Arabidopsis Plants

AuthorsRódenas, Reyes; Martínez, Vicente ; Nieves-Cordones, Manuel ; Rubio, Francisco
Phosphate starvation response
Issue Date7-May-2019
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences 20(9): 2237 (2019)
AbstractPotassium (K<sup>+</sup>) and phosphorous (Pi) are two of the most important nutrients required by plants and there is an interest in studying how they are acquired. Most studies have focused on the characterization of the mechanisms involved in K<sup>+</sup> and Pi uptake and their distribution within the plants, as well as the regulatory mechanisms involved. Evidence is emerging which points to interactions in the nutrition of different nutrients and to the existence of crosstalk in the signaling cascades regulating their acquisition. However, the interaction between K<sup>+</sup> and Pi has been scarcely studied. Here we show that high concentrations of K<sup>+</sup> in the external solution inhibit Pi uptake and impair Pi nutrition in Arabidopsis plants, resulting in the induction of phosphate starvation response (PSR) and the upregulation of genes encoding root phosphate uptake systems. The high K<sup>+</sup>-induced PSR depends on the PHR1 and PHL1 transcription factors that are key pieces of Pi signaling in Arabidopsis. Importantly, high K<sup>+</sup> reduces arsenic accumulation in plants and its toxic effects. The results presented may help to design strategies to reduce Pi deficiency as well as the accumulation of arsenic in crops.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20092237
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