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Channel-Like Characteristics Of The Low-Affinity Barley Phosphate Transporter PHT1;6 When Expressed InXenopusOocytes

Christian P. Preuss, Chun Y. Huang, Matthew Gilliham, Stephen D. Tyerman

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AbstractRemobilization of inorganic phosphate (Pi) within a plant is critical for sustaining growth and seed production under external Pi fluctuation. The barley (Hordeum vulgare) transporter HvPHT1;6 has been implicated in Pi remobilization. In this report, we expressed HvPHT1;6 in Xenopus laevis oocytes, allowing detailed characterization of voltage-dependent fluxes and currents induced by HvPHT1;6. HvPHT1;6 increased efflux of Pi near oocyte resting membrane potentials, dependent on external Pi concentration. Time-dependent inward currents were observed when membrane potentials were more negative than −160 mV, which was consistent with nH+:HPO42− (n > 2) cotransport, based on simultaneous radiotracer and oocyte voltage clamping, dependent upon Pi concentration gradient and pH. Time- and voltage-dependent inward currents through HvPHT1;6 were also observed for SO42−and to a lesser degree for NO3−Cl−but not for malate. Inward and outward currents showed linear dependence on the concentration of external HPO42−similar to low-affinity Pi transport in plant studies. The electrophysiological properties of HvPHT1;6, which locates to the plasma membrane when expressed in onion (Allium cepa) epidermal cells, are consistent with its suggested role in the remobilization of Pi in barley plants.