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Type: Journal article
Title: Barley sodium content is regulated by natural variants of the Na+ transporter HvHKT1;5
Author: Houston, K.
Jiaen, Q.
Wege, S.
Oakey, H.
Hrmova, M.
Qu, Y.
Smith, P.
Situmorang, A.
Macaulay, M.
Flis, P.
Bayer, M.
Roy, S.
Halpin, C.
Russell, J.
Schreiber, M.
Byrt, C.
Gilliham, M.
Salt, D.
Waugh, R.
Citation: Communications Biology, 2020; 3(1):258-1-258-9
Publisher: Nature Research (part of Springer Nature)
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 2399-3642
Statement of
Kelly Houston, Jiaen Qiu, Stefanie Wege, Maria Hrmova, Helena Oakey, Yue Qu, Pauline Smith, Apriadi Situmorang, Malcolm Macaulay, Paulina Flis, Micha Bayer, Stuart Roy, Claire Halpin, Joanne Russell, Miriam Schreiber, Caitlin Byrt, Matt Gilliham, David E. Salt, Robbie Waugh
Abstract: During plant growth, sodium (Na+) in the soil is transported via the xylem from the root to the shoot. While excess Na+ is toxic to most plants, non-toxic concentrations have been shown to improve crop yields under certain conditions, such as when soil K+ is low. We quantified grain Na+ across a barley genome-wide association study panel grown under non-saline conditions and identified variants of a Class 1 HIGH-AFFINITY-POTASSIUM-TRANSPORTER (HvHKT1;5)-encoding gene responsible for Na+ content variation under these conditions. A leucine to proline substitution at position 189 (L189P) in HvHKT1;5 disturbs its characteristic plasma membrane localisation and disrupts Na+ transport. Under low and moderate soil Na+, genotypes containing HvHKT1:5P189 accumulate high concentrations of Na+ but exhibit no evidence of toxicity. As the frequency of HvHKT1:5P189 increases significantly in cultivated European germplasm, we cautiously speculate that this non-functional variant may enhance yield potential in non-saline environments, possibly by offsetting limitations of low available K+.
Keywords: Hordeum
Plant Shoots
Plant Roots
Cation Transport Proteins
Plant Proteins
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Genome-Wide Association Study
Rights: © Crown 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
DOI: 10.1038/s42003-020-0990-5
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Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications
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