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Restricted Spatial Expression Of A High-affinity Phosphate Transporter In Potato Roots

Ruth Gordon-Weeks, Yiping Tong, T. G. Emyr Davies, Georg Leggewie

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Phosphorus deficiency limits plant growth, and high-affinity phosphate transporters, of the Pht1 family, facilitate phosphate uptake and translocation. The family is subdivided into root specific, phosphate deprivation induced members and those also expressed in leaves. An antibody to StPT2, a potato root specific transporter, detected two bands (52 kDa and 30 kDa) on western blots of root plasma membrane extracts that were most intense in whole extracts from the root tip and slightly increased throughout the root in response to phosphate depletion. RT-PCR, using StPT2 specific primers,confirmed these findings. Low power confocal immunofluorescent images showed StPT2 expression mainly in the elongation zone at the root tip. By contrast, a vacuolar pyrophosphatase and a plasma membrane ATPase antibody labelled the whole root. High power images showed, by comparison with α-tubulin, cell wall and plasma membrane ATPase labelling, that StPT2 was in the epidermal plasma membrane and restricted to the apical surface. This is the first evidence of polar plasma membrane localisation of a plant nutrient transporter and is consistent with a role for StPT2 in phosphate capture and uptake.