Journal Article

NH<sub>4</sub><sup>+</sup>-stimulated and -inhibited components of K<sup>+</sup> transport in rice (<i>Oryza sativa</i> L.)

Mark W. Szczerba, Dev T. Britto, Shabana A. Ali, Konstantine D. Balkos and Herbert J. Kronzucker

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 12, pages 3415-3423
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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The disruption of K+ transport and accumulation is symptomatic of NH4+ toxicity in plants. In this study, the influence of K+ supply (0.02–40 mM) and nitrogen source (10 mM NH4+ or NO3) on root plasma membrane K+ fluxes and cytosolic K+ pools, plant growth, and whole-plant K+ distribution in the NH4+-tolerant plant species rice (Oryza sativa L.) was examined. Using the radiotracer 42K+, tissue mineral analysis, and growth data, it is shown that rice is affected by NH4+ toxicity under high-affinity K+ transport conditions. Substantial recovery of growth was seen as [K+]ext was increased from 0.02 mM to 0.1 mM, and, at 1.5 mM, growth was superior on NH4+. Growth recovery at these concentrations was accompanied by greater influx of K+ into root cells, translocation of K+ to the shoot, and tissue K+. Elevating the K+ supply also resulted in a significant reduction of NH4+ influx, as measured by 13N radiotracing. In the low-affinity K+ transport range, NH4+ stimulated K+ influx relative to NO3 controls. It is concluded that rice, despite its well-known tolerance to NH4+, nevertheless displays considerable growth suppression and disruption of K+ homeostasis under this N regime at low [K+]ext, but displays efficient recovery from NH4+ inhibition, and indeed a stimulation of K+ acquisition, when [K+]ext is increased in the presence of NH4+.

Keywords: Ammonium toxicity; influx; ion transport; potassium; rice; translocation

Journal Article.  5918 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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