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Here, we demonstrate that the reduction in leaf K+ observed in a mutant previously identified in an ionomic screen of fast neutron mutagenized Arabidopsis thaliana is caused by a loss-of-function allele of CPR5, which we name cpr5-3. This observation establishes low leaf K+ as a new phenotype for loss-of-function alleles of CPR5. We investigate the factors affecting this low leaf K+ in cpr5 using double mutants defective in salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) signalling, and by gene expression analysis of various channels and transporters. Reciprocal grafting between cpr5 and Col-0 was used to determine the relative importance of the shoot and root in causing the low leaf K+ phenotype of cpr5. Our data show that loss-of-function of CPR5 in shoots primarily determines the low leaf K+ phenotype of cpr5, though the roots also contribute to a lesser degree. The low leaf K+ phenotype of cpr5 is independent of the elevated SA and JA known to occur in cpr5. In cpr5 expression of genes encoding various Cyclic Nucleotide Gated Channels (CNGCs) are uniquely elevated in leaves. Further, expression of HAK5, encoding the high affinity K+ uptake transporter, is reduced in roots of cpr5 grown with high or low K+ supply. We suggest a model in which low leaf K+ in cpr5 is driven primarily by enhanced shoot-to-root K+ export caused by a constitutive activation of the expression of various CNGCs. This activation may enhance K+ efflux, either indirectly via enhanced cytosolic Ca2+ and/or directly by increased K+ transport activity. Enhanced shoot-to-root K+ export may also cause the reduced expression of HAK5 observed in roots of cpr5, leading to a reduction in uptake of K+.
Borghi M, Rus A, Salt DE (2011). Loss-of-function of Constitutive expresser of Pathogenesis Related gene5 affects potassium homeostasis in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS ONE 6(10), e26360