Plant and Soil

, 326:45 | Cite as

Mechanisms of sodium uptake by roots of higher plants

  • Jin-Lin Zhang
  • Timothy J. Flowers
  • Suo-Min Wang
Regular Article


The negative impact of soil salinity on agricultural yields is significant. For agricultural plants, sensitivity to salinity is commonly (but not exclusively) due to the abundance of Na+ in the soil as excess Na+ is toxic to plants. We consider reducing Na+ uptake to be the key, as well as the most efficient approach, to control Na+ accumulation in crop plants and hence to improve their salt resistance. Understanding the mechanism of Na+ uptake by the roots of higher plants is crucial for manipulating salt resistance. Hence, the aim of this review is to highlight and discuss recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of Na+ uptake by plant roots at both physiological and molecular levels. We conclude that continued efforts to investigate the mechanisms of root Na+ uptake in higher plants are necessary, especially that of low-affinity Na+ uptake, as it is the means by which sodium enters into plants growing in saline soils.


Sodium Uptake Plants Transporters Ion channels 



Arabidopsis K+ transporter


cation-Cl cotransporter


cyclic-nucleotide-gated channel


high-affinity K+ transporter


high-affinity K+ transporter


K+ transporter


K+ uptake transporter


low-affinity cation transporter


non-selective cation channel


salt overly sensitive


voltage-independent channel



Research in our lab was funded by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, grant No. 2007CB108901), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant No. 30671488, 30700562 and 30770347), the National High Tech Project of China (grant No. 2006AA10Z126), the program for New Century Excellent Talents, China (grant No. NCET-05-0882) and the Interdisciplinary Innovation Research Fund for Young Scholars, Lanzhou University (grant No. LZU200516).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin-Lin Zhang
    • 1
  • Timothy J. Flowers
    • 2
  • Suo-Min Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystem, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and TechnologyLanzhou UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Biology and Environmental Science, School of Life SciencesUniversity of SussexBrightonUK

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