NaCl- and cold-induced stress activate different Ca2+-permeable channels in Arabidopsis thaliana

  • Chao Wang
  • Yibo Teng
  • Shan Zhu
  • Linlin Zhang
  • Xunyan Liu
Original paper


Salinity (NaCl) and low temperatures significantly affect plant growth, development, and agricultural productivity. Both these stresses trigger an increase in free cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) via Ca2+ influx across the plasma membrane. However, the interaction between salinity- and low temperature-induced [Ca2+]i increases are still poorly understood. We used aequorin to investigate the NaCl- and cold-induced [Ca2+]i signals in Arabidopsis thaliana. We found that the combination of NaCl and cold stimuli induced a greater increase in [Ca2+]i than that by either NaCl or cold separately. Therefore, we showed that these factors had an additive effect on [Ca2+]i increase. Following a pre-treatment of either NaCl or cold, the increase in [Ca2+]i significantly declined in response to a second NaCl treatment or cold exposure. After pre-treatment with NaCl, a subsequent cold stimulus suppressed [Ca2+]i increase to a lesser degree than that by a second NaCl treatment. A similar response was observed after pre-treatment with cold and subsequent treatment with NaCl, but the peak [Ca2+]i differed between them. We propose that NaCl-induced Ca2+ channels differ from those induced by cold and that a feedback mechanism may exist between NaCl- and cold-evoked [Ca2+]i. The Ca2+-permeable channels activated by NaCl were similar to those induced by cold stress; however, they may be expressed in different cells and activated by different signaling pathways. Our results indicated that there is a cross-adaptation in [Ca2+]i changes in response to NaCl- and cold-induced stresses.


Free cytosolic Ca2+ Ca2+-permeable channel Ca2+ influx Interaction Soil salinity Cold stress 



The authors thank M. R. Knight for providing aequorin-expressing Arabidopsis seeds and Prof. Zhenming Pei for valuable advice and support regarding the experiment. This work is financially supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31400229) and by the public welfare projects of Zhejiang Province (No. 2014C32121). This work was also supported by the Zhejiang Province Public Welfare Technology Application Research Project (LGN18C020005).

Author contributions

XL and YT designed the experiments. CW, YT, LZ performed them. SZ, CW, XL analyzed the data. SZ, YT provided the reagents, apparatus, and analytical tools. All authors listed approved it for publication. YT and SZ reviewed the article, XL wrote the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10725_2018_464_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (1.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1. Fig. S1 Increases in [Ca2+]i in response to NaCl and cold treatments. Effect of EGTA, LiCl and LaCl3 on NaCl or cold-triggered [Ca2+]i increases. (A and C) Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings were pre-incubated for 1 h in water (Control), 1 h in 20 mM EGTA, 30 min in 20 mM LiCl, and 1 h in 10 mM LaCl3 before the NaCl (A) and cold (C) treatments. The seedlings were then subjected either to 200 mM NaCl or 13.5°C cold. Aequorin luminescence was recorded. (B and D) Quantification of [Ca2+]i increase from experiments as in A and C, respectively. Data for three independent experiments are shown (mean ± SD; n = 64; NS, not significant P > 0.05) (JPG 1225 KB)
10725_2018_464_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 2. Fig. S2 H2O2 levels do not affect [Ca2+]i increase in response to NaCl or cold treatment. (A and C) Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings were treated with water (Control), 15 µM of the NADPH oxidase inhibitor DPI, and 5 mM of the ROS scavenger glutathione 2 h prior to the NaCl (A) and 13.5°C cold (C) treatments. The seedlings were then subjected either to 200 mM NaCl or 13.5°C cold. Aequorin luminescence was recorded continuously in the dark for all treatments. (B and D) Quantification of peak [Ca2+]i increase. Data for three independent experiments are shown (mean ± SD; n = 64; * P < 0.05) (JPG 1168 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center on Plant Environmental Sensing, Institute for Global Change, College of Life and Environmental SciencesHangzhou Normal UniversityHangzhouChina

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