Medicago truncatula possesses a single Shaker outward K+ channel: functional characterization and roles in planta

Abstract : The model legume Medicago truncatula possesses a single outward Shaker K+ channel, while Arabidopsis thaliana possesses two channels of this type, named SKOR and GORK, the former having been shown to play a major role in K+ secretion into the xylem sap in the root vasculature and the latter to mediate the efflux of K+ across the guard cell membrane upon stomatal closure. Here we show that the expression pattern of the single M. truncatulaoutward Shaker channel, which has been named MtGORK, includes the root vasculature, guard cells and root hairs. As shown by patch-clamp experiments on root hair protoplasts, besides the Shaker-type slowly-activating outwardly-rectifying K+ conductance encoded by MtGORK, a second K+-permeable conductance, displaying fast activation and weak rectification, can be expressed by M. truncatula. A KO mutation resulting in absence of MtGORK activity is shown to weakly reduce K+ translocation to shoots, and only in plants engaged in rhizobial symbiosis, but to strongly affect the control of stomatal aperture and transpitational water loss. In legumes, the early electrical signaling pathway triggered by Nod Factor perception is known to comprise a short transient depolarization of the root hair plasma membrane. In absence of MtGORK functional expression, while the rate of the membrane repolarization is shown to be decreased by about 3 times, this defect is without any consequence on infection thread development and nodule production, indicating that the plant capacity to engage rhizobial symbiosis does not require integrity of the early electrical signaling events
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Alice Drain, Julien Thouin, Limin Wang, Nicolas Pauly, Manuel Nieves-Cordones, et al.. Medicago truncatula possesses a single Shaker outward K+ channel: functional characterization and roles in planta. BioRxiv, 2019, ⟨10.1101/720367⟩. ⟨hal-02244985⟩

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