, Volume 227, Issue 3, pp 659–669 | Cite as

The Arabidopsis cax3 mutants display altered salt tolerance, pH sensitivity and reduced plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity

  • Jian Zhao
  • Bronwyn J. Barkla
  • Joy Marshall
  • Jon K. Pittman
  • Kendal D. Hirschi
Original Article


Perturbing CAX1, an Arabidopsis vacuolar H+/Ca2+ antiporter, and the related vacuolar transporter CAX3, has been previously shown to cause severe growth defects; however, the specific function of CAX3 has remained elusive. Here, we describe plant phenotypes that are shared among cax1 and cax3 including an increased sensitivity to both abscisic acid (ABA) and sugar during germination, and an increased tolerance to ethylene during early seedling development. We have also identified phenotypes unique to cax3, namely salt, lithium and low pH sensitivity. We used biochemical measurements to ascribe these cax3 sensitivities to a reduction in vacuolar H+/Ca2+ transport during salt stress and decreased plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity. These findings catalog an array of CAX phenotypes and assign a specific role for CAX3 in response to salt tolerance.


Arabidopsis Antiporter Calcium Salt tolerance Transport 



35S Cauliflower mosaic virus promoter


Abscisic acid


1-Aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid


Arabidopsis H+-ATPase


Cation exchanger


Murashige and Skoog medium


Plasma membrane H+-ATPase


N-terminal truncated cation exchanger


Vacuolar-type H+-ATPase



This work was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service under Cooperative Agreement 58-6250-6001, National Science Foundation Grant #90344350 and USDA-CSREES #2005-34402-17121, Designing Foods for Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian Zhao
    • 1
  • Bronwyn J. Barkla
    • 2
  • Joy Marshall
    • 3
  • Jon K. Pittman
    • 4
  • Kendal D. Hirschi
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.United States Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service Children’s Nutrition Research CenterBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Instituto de BiotecnologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCuernavacaMéxico
  3. 3.Department of BiologyPrairie View A&M UniversityPrairie ViewUSA
  4. 4.Faculty of Life SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK
  5. 5.Vegetable and Fruit Improvement CenterTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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