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The Robert H. Smith Institute of
Plant Sciences and Genetics
in Agriculture
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Tel: 972-8-948-9251,
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Publications

2020
Yang, T. ; Feng, H. ; Zhang, S. ; Xiao, H. ; Hu, Q. ; Chen, G. ; Xuan, W. ; Moran, N. ; Murphy, A. ; Yu, L. ; et al. The Potassium Transporter OsHAK5 Alters Rice Architecture via ATP-Dependent Transmembrane Auxin Fluxes. 2020, 1 100052. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Plant HAK/KUP/KT family members function as plasma membrane (PM) H+/K+ symporters and may modulate chemiosmotically-driven polar auxin transport (PAT). Here, we show that inactivation of OsHAK5, a rice K+ transporter gene, decreased rootward and shootward PAT, tiller number, and the length of both lateral roots and root hairs, while OsHAK5 overexpression increased PAT, tiller number, and root hair length, irrespective of the K+ supply. Inhibitors of ATP-binding-cassette type-B transporters, NPA and BUM, abolished the OsHAK5-overexpression effect on PAT. The mechanistic basis of these changes included the OsHAK5-mediated decrease of transmembrane potential (depolarization), increase of extracellular pH, and increase of PM-ATPase activity. These findings highlight the dual roles of OsHAK5 in altering cellular chemiosmotic gradients (generated continuously by PM H+-ATPase) and regulating ATP-dependent auxin transport. Both functions may underlie the prominent effect of OsHAK5 on rice architecture, which may be exploited in the future to increase crop yield via genetic manipulations.
2017
Wigoda, N. ; Pasmanik-Chor, M. ; Yang, T. ; Yu, L. ; Moshelion, M. ; Moran, N. Differential gene expression and transport functionality in the bundle sheath versus mesophyll - a potential role in leaf mineral homeostasis. J Exp Bot 2017, 68, 3179-3190.Abstract
Under fluctuating ambient conditions, the ability of plants to maintain hydromineral homeostasis requires the tight control of long distance transport. This includes the control of radial transport within leaves, from veins to mesophyll. The bundle sheath is a structure that tightly wraps around leaf vasculature. It has been suggested to act as a selective barrier in the context of radial transport. This suggestion is based on recent physiological transport assays of bundle sheath cells (BSCs), as well as the anatomy of these cells.We hypothesized that the unique transport functionality of BSCs is apparent in their transcriptome. To test this, we compared the transcriptomes of individually hand-picked protoplasts of GFP-labeled BSCs and non-labeled mesophyll cells (MCs) from the leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana. Of the 90 genes differentially expressed between BSCs and MCs, 45% are membrane related and 20% transport related, a prominent example being the proton pump AHA2. Electrophysiological assays showed that the major AKT2-like membrane K+ conductances of BSCs and MCs had different voltage dependency ranges. Taken together, these differences may cause simultaneous but oppositely directed transmembrane K+ fluxes in BSCs and MCs, in otherwise similar conditions.
2015
Moran, N. Rhythmic leaf movements: Physiological and molecular aspects; Rhythms in Plants: Dynamic Responses in a Dynamic Environment; 2015; pp. 57-95. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Daily periodic plant leaf movements, known since antiquity, are dramatic manifestations of “osmotic motors” regulated by the endogenous biological clock and by light, perceived by phytochrome and, possibly, by phototropins. Both the reversible movements and their regulation usually occur in specialized motor leaf organs, pulvini. The movements result from opposing volume changes in two oppositely positioned parts of the pulvinus. Water fluxes into the motor cells in the swelling part and out of the motor cells in the concomitantly shrinking part are powered by ion fluxes into and out of these cells, and all of these fluxes occur through tightly regulated membranal proteins: Pumps, carriers, and ion and water channels. This chapter attempts to piece together those findings and insights about this mechanism which have accumulated during the past two and a half decades. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2006, 2015.
2014
Ma, X. ; Shatil-Cohen, A. ; Ben-Dor, S. ; Wigoda, N. ; Perera, I. Y. ; Im, Y. J. ; Diminshtein, S. ; Yu, L. ; Boss, W. F. ; Moshelion, M. ; et al. Do phosphoinositides regulate membrane water permeability of tobacco protoplasts by enhancing the aquaporin pathway?. Planta 2014, 241, 741-755. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Main conclusion: Enhancing the membrane content of PtdInsP2, the already-recognized protein-regulating lipid, increased the osmotic water permeability of tobacco protoplasts, apparently by increasing the abundance of active aquaporins in their membranes. While phosphoinositides are implicated in cell volume changes and are known to regulate some ion channels, their modulation of aquaporins activity has not yet been reported for any organism. To examine this, we compared the osmotic water permeability (Pf) of protoplasts isolated from tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) cultured cells (NT1) with different (genetically lowered or elevated relative to controls) levels of inositol trisphosphate (InsP3) and phosphatidyl inositol [4,5] bisphosphate (PtdInsP2). To achieve this, the cells were transformed with, respectively, the human InsP3 5-phosphatase (‘Ptase cells’) or human phosphatidylinositol (4) phosphate 5-kinase (‘PIPK cells’). The mean Pf of the PIPK cells was several-fold higher relative to that of controls and Ptase cells. Three results favor aquaporins over the membrane matrix as underlying this excessive Pf: (1) transient expression of the maize aquaporin ZmPIP2;4 in the PIPK cells increased Pf by 12–30 μm s−1, while in the controls only by 3–4 μm s−1. (2) Cytosol acidification—known to inhibit aquaporins—lowered the Pf in the PIPK cells down to control levels. (3) The transcript of at least one aquaporin was elevated in the PIPK cells. Together, the three results demonstrate the differences between the PIPK cells and their controls, and suggest a hitherto unobserved regulation of aquaporins by phosphoinositides, which could occur through direct interaction or indirect phosphoinositides-dependent cellular effects. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Wigoda, N. ; Moshelion, M. ; Moran, N. Is the leaf bundle sheath a "smart flux valve" for K+ nutrition?. Journal of Plant Physiology 2014, 171, 715-722. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Evidence has started to accumulate that the bundle sheath regulates the passage of water, minerals and metabolites between the mesophyll and the conducting vessels of xylem and phloem within the leaf veins which it envelops. Although potassium (K+) nutrition has been studied for several decades, and much is known about the uptake and recirculation of K+ within the plant, the potential regulatory role of bundle sheath with regard to K+ fluxes has just begun to be addressed. Here we have collected some facts and ideas about these processes. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH.
Shatil-Cohen, A. ; Sibony, H. ; Draye, X. ; Chaumont, F. ; Moran, N. ; Moshelion, M. Measuring the osmotic water permeability coefficient (pf) of spherical cells: Isolated plant protoplasts as an example. Journal of Visualized Experiments 2014. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Studying AQP regulation mechanisms is crucial for the understanding of water relations at both the cellular and the whole plant levels. Presented here is a simple and very efficient method for the determination of the osmotic water permeability coefficient (Pf) in plant protoplasts, applicable in principle also to other spherical cells such as frog oocytes The first step of the assay is the isolation of protoplasts from the plant tissue of interest by enzymatic digestion into a chamber with an appropriate isotonic solution The second step consists of an osmotic challenge assay: protoplasts immobilized on the bottom of the chamber are submitted to a constant perfusion starting with an isotonic solution and followed by a hypotonic solution. The cell swelling is video recorded. In the third step, the images are processed offline to yield volume changes, and the time course of the volume changes is correlated with the time course of the change in osmolarity of the chamber perfusion medium, using a curve fitting procedure written in Matlab (the ‘PfFit’), to yield Pf. © JoVE 2006-2014. All Rights Reserved.
Yang, T. ; Zhang, S. ; Hu, Y. ; Wu, F. ; Hu, Q. ; Chen, G. ; Cai, J. ; Wu, T. ; Moran, N. ; Yu, L. ; et al. The role of a potassium transporter oshak5 in potassium acquisition and transport from roots to shoots in rice at low potassium supply levels. Plant Physiology 2014, 166, 945-959. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In plants, K transporter (KT)/high affinity K transporter (HAK)/K uptake permease (KUP) is the largest potassium (K) transporter family; however, few of the members have had their physiological functions characterized in planta. Here, we studied OsHAK5 of the KT/HAK/KUP family in rice (Oryza sativa). We determined its cellular and tissue localization and analyzed its functions in rice using both OsHAK5 knockout mutants and overexpression lines in three genetic backgrounds. A b-glucuronidase reporter driven by the OsHAK5 native promoter indicated OsHAK5 expression in various tissue organs from root to seed, abundantly in root epidermis and stele, the vascular tissues, and mesophyll cells. Net K influx rate in roots and K transport from roots to aerial parts were severely impaired by OsHAK5 knockout but increased by OsHAK5 overexpression in 0.1 and 0.3 mM K external solution. The contribution of OsHAK5 to K mobilization within the rice plant was confirmed further by the change of K concentration in the xylem sap and K distribution in the transgenic lines when K was removed completely from the external solution. Overexpression of OsHAK5 increased the K-sodium concentration ratio in the shoots and salt stress tolerance (shoot growth), while knockout of OsHAK5 decreased the K-sodium concentration ratio in the shoots, resulting in sensitivity to salt stress. Taken together, these results demonstrate that OsHAK5 plays a major role in K acquisition by roots faced with low external K and in K upward transport from roots to shoots in K-deficient rice plants. © 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.