The role of the plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPase (E.C. 22.214.171.124) in the plant's response to salt stress was studied in the perennial leguminosae forage Medicago arborea L. and its close relative Medicago citrina (Font-Quer) Greuter, a species exposed to saline conditions in its original habitat. Plants were solution cultured for 8 days in 1 or 100 mM NaCl. Leaf growth and CO 2 assimilation were more inhibited by salt in M. arborea than in M. citrina. Both species were able to osmoregulate, and salt-treated plants maintained turgor potentials, with no differences between species. Contrasting ion distribution patterns showed that M. citrina was able to exclude Na + from the leaves more selectively, while M. arborea had a greater buildup of leaf blade Na+. Isolation of purified PM and quantification of H+-ATPase protein by Western blot analysis against the 46E5B11D5 or AHA3 antibodies showed an increase in response to salt stress in the expanding (92%) and expanded leaves (87%) of M. citrina, while no differences were found in the corresponding leaves of M. arborea. The assay of H+-ATPase specific activity of the two leaf types in salinized M. citrina confirmed this increase, as activities increased with 55% and 104% for the expanded and expanding leaves, respectively, while no significant differences were found for either leaf type of salinized M. arborea. A possible role of the increased expression of the PM H+-ATPase for leaf expansion and ion exclusion in salt-stressed plants is discussed. © Springer-Verlag 2005.
- H -ATPase (plasma membrane) +
- Plasma membrane
- Salinity (salt stress)