J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (3): 528-542.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13008

Special Issue: Abiotic stress Protein kinases

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Arabidopsis phosphatase PP2C49 negatively regulates salt tolerance through inhibition of AtHKT1;1

Moli Chu , Pengwang Chen, Sufang Meng, Peng Xu and Wenzhi Lan*   

  1. State Key Laboratory for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China

    *Correspondence: Wenzhi Lan (lanw@nju.edu.cn)
  • Received:2020-05-15 Accepted:2020-08-31 Online:2020-09-02 Published:2021-03-01

Abstract: Type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs) are the largest protein phosphatase family. PP2Cs dephosphorylate substrates for signaling in Arabidopsis, but the functions of most PP2Cs remain unknown. Here, we characterized PP2C49 (AT3G62260, a Group G PP2C), which regulates Na+ distribution under salt stress and is localized to the cytoplasm and nucleus. PP2C49 was highly expressed in root vascular tissues and its disruption enhanced plant tolerance to salt stress. Compared with wild type, the pp2c49 mutant contained more Na+ in roots but less Na+ in shoots and xylem sap, suggesting that PP2C49 regulates shoot Na+ extrusion. Reciprocal grafting revealed a root‐based mechanism underlying the salt tolerance of pp2c49. Systemic Na+ distribution largely depends on AtHKT1;1 and loss of function of AtHKT1;1 in the pp2c49 background overrode the salt tolerance of pp2c49, resulting in salt sensitivity. Furthermore, compared with plants overexpressing PP2C49 in the wild‐type background, plants overexpressing PP2C49 in the athtk1;1 mutant background were sensitive to salt, like the athtk1;1 mutants. Moreover, protein–protein interaction and two‐voltage clamping assays demonstrated that PP2C49 physically interacts with AtHKT1;1 and inhibits the Na+ permeability of AtHKT1;1. This study reveals that PP2C49 negatively regulates AtHKT1;1 activity and thus determines systemic Na+ allocation during salt stress.

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