Journal of Plant Biology

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 259–267 | Cite as

The K+/H+ antiporter AhNHX1 improved tobacco tolerance to NaCl stress by enhancing K+ retention

  • Wei-Wei Zhang
  • Jing-Jing Meng
  • Jin-Yi Xing
  • Sha Yang
  • Feng Guo
  • Xin-Guo Li
  • Shu-Bo Wan
Original Article


High salinity is the one of important factors limiting plant growth and crop production. Many NHX-type antiporters have been reported to catalyze K+/H+ exchange to mediate salt stress. This study shows that an NHX gene from Arachis hypogaea L. has an important role in K+ uptake and transport, which affects K+ accumulation and plant salt tolerance. When overexpressing AhNHX1, the growth of tobacco seedlings is improved with longer roots and a higher fresh weight than the wild type (WT) under NaCl treatment. Meanwhile, when exposed to NaCl stress, the transgenic seedlings had higher K+/H+ antiporter activity and their roots got more K+ uptake. NaCl stress could induce higher K+ accumulation in the roots, stems, and leaves of transgenic tobacco seedlings but not Na+ accumulation, thus, leading to a higher K+/Na+ ratio in the transgenic seedlings. Additionally, the AKT1, HAK1, SKOR, and KEA genes, which are involved in K+ uptake or transport, were induced by NaCl stress and kept higher expression levels in transgenic seedlings than in WT seedlings. The H+-ATPase and H+-PPase activities were also higher in transgenic seedlings than in the WT seedlings under NaCl stress. Simultaneously, overexpression of AhNHX1 increased the relative distribution of K+ in the aerial parts of the seedlings under NaCl stress. These results showed that AhNHX1 catalyzed the K+/H+ antiporter and enhanced tobacco tolerance to salt stress by increasing K+ uptake and transport.


Arachis hypogaea L. K+/H+ Antiporter K+ transport K+ uptake Salt stress 


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Supplementary material

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Supporting Information


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Copyright information

© Korean Society of Plant Biologists and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei-Wei Zhang
    • 1
  • Jing-Jing Meng
    • 1
  • Jin-Yi Xing
    • 2
  • Sha Yang
    • 1
  • Feng Guo
    • 1
  • Xin-Guo Li
    • 1
  • Shu-Bo Wan
    • 3
  1. 1.Biotechnology Research CenterShandong Academy of Agricultural SciencesJi’nanChina
  2. 2.College of Life ScienceLinyi UniversityLinyiChina
  3. 3.Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences/Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Ecology and PhysiologyJi’nanChina

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