Chloride regulates leaf cell size and water relations in tobacco plants
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AuthorFranco-Navarro, Juan D.; Brumós, Javier; Rosales, Miguel A.; Cubero-Font, Paloma; Talón, Manuel; Colmenero-Flores, José M.
Cita bibliográficaFranco-Navarro, J. D., Brumós, J., Rosales, M. A., Cubero-Font, P., Talón, M., & Colmenero-Flores, J. M. (2016). Chloride regulates leaf cell size and water relations in tobacco plants. Journal of experimental botany, 67(3), 873-891.
Chloride (Cl–) is a micronutrient that accumulates to macronutrient levels since it is normally available in nature and actively taken up by higher plants. Besides a role as an unspecific cell osmoticum, no clear biological roles have been explicitly associated with Cl– when accumulated to macronutrient concentrations. To address this question, the glycophyte tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. var. Habana) has been treated with a basal nutrient solution supplemented with one of three salt combinations containing the same cationic balance: Cl–-based (CL), nitrate-based (N), and sulphate+phosphate-based (SP) treatments. Under non-saline conditions (up to 5 mM Cl–) and no water limitation, Cl– specifically stimulated higher leaf cell size and led to a moderate increase of plant fresh and dry biomass mainly due to higher shoot expansion. When applied in the 1–5 mM range, Cl– played specific roles in regulating leaf osmotic potential and turgor, allowing plants to improve leaf water balance parameters. In addition, Cl– also altered water relations at the whole-plant level through reduction of plant transpiration. This was a consequence of a lower stomatal conductance, which resulted in lower water loss and greater photosynthetic and integrated water-use efficiency. In contrast to Cl–, these effects were not observed for essential anionic macronutrients such as nitrate, sulphate, and phosphate. We propose that the abundant uptake and accumulation of Cl– responds to adaptive functions improving water homeostasis in higher plants.