Na+ tolerance and Na+ transport in higher plants

Mark Tester*, Romola Davenport

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2524 Scopus citations


Tolerance to high soil [Na+] involves processes in many different parts of the plant, and is manifested in a wide range of specializations at disparate levels of organization, such as gross morphology, membrane transport, biochemistry and gene transcription. Multiple adaptations to high [Na+] operate concurrently within a particular plant, and mechanisms of tolerance show large taxonomic variation. These mechanisms can occur in all cells within the plant, or can occur in specific cell types, reflecting adaptations at two major levels of organization: those that confer tolerance to individual cells, and those that contribute to tolerance not of cells per se, but of the whole plant. Salt-tolerant cells can contribute to salt tolerance of plants; but we suggest that equally important in a wide range of conditions are processes involving the management of Na+ movements within the plant. These require specific cell types in specific locations within the plant catalysing transport in a coordinated manner. For further understanding of whole plant tolerance, we require more knowledge of cell-specific transport processes and the consequences of manipulation of transporters and signalling elements in specific cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-527
Number of pages25
JournalAnnals of botany
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank numerous colleagues and members of our laboratory for their helpful discussions and support over the past years. Rana Munns deserves particular thanks. A version of this paper was presented by M.T. as the Annals of Botany lecture at ComBio, Canberra, 2001, support for which is gratefully acknowledged. M.T. has a BBSRC Research Development Fellowship and R.J.D. has a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship. Research in our laboratory is funded by the BBSRC, Leverhulme Foundation, EU FPV and The Royal Society.


  • Ion transport
  • Long-distance transport
  • Non-selective cation channels
  • Review
  • Salinity
  • Sodium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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