Bo Li, Mark Tester and Matthew Gilliham. Chloride on the Move. Trends in Plant Science. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2016.12.004
Chloride (Cl−) is an essential plant nutrient but under saline conditions it can accumulate to toxic levels in leaves; limiting this accumulation improves the salt tolerance of some crops. The rate-limiting step for this process – the transfer of Cl− from root symplast to xylem apoplast, which can antagonize delivery of the macronutrient nitrate (NO3−) to shoots – is regulated by abscisic acid (ABA) and is multigenic. Until recently the molecular mechanisms underpinning this salt-tolerance trait were poorly defined. We discuss here how recent advances highlight the role of newly identified transport proteins, some that directly transfer Cl− into the xylem, and others that act on endomembranes in ‘gatekeeper’ cell types in the root stele to control root-to-shoot delivery of Cl−.