• HKT1;
  • salinity;
  • salt tolerance;
  • sodium transport


HKT-type transporters appear to play key roles in Na+ accumulation and salt sensitivity in plants. In Arabidopsis HKT1;1 has been proposed to influx Na+ into roots, recirculate Na+ in the phloem and control root : shoot allocation of Na+. We tested these hypotheses using 22Na+ flux measurements and ion accumulation assays in an hkt1;1 mutant and demonstrated that AtHKT1;1 contributes to the control of both root accumulation of Na+ and retrieval of Na+ from the xylem, but is not involved in root influx or recirculation in the phloem. Mathematical modelling indicated that the effects of the hkt1;1 mutation on root accumulation and xylem retrieval were independent. Although AtHKT1;1 has been implicated in regulation of K+ transport and the hkt1;1 mutant showed altered net K+ accumulation, 86Rb+ uptake was unaffected by the hkt1;1 mutation. The hkt1;1 mutation has been shown previously to rescue growth of the sos1 mutant on low K+; however, HKT1;1 knockout did not alter K+ or 86Rb+ accumulation in sos1.