A rice quantitative trait locus for salt tolerance encodes a sodium transporter

Nat Genet. 2005 Oct;37(10):1141-6. doi: 10.1038/ng1643. Epub 2005 Sep 11.


Many important agronomic traits in crop plants, including stress tolerance, are complex traits controlled by quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Isolation of these QTLs holds great promise to improve world agriculture but is a challenging task. We previously mapped a rice QTL, SKC1, that maintained K(+) homeostasis in the salt-tolerant variety under salt stress, consistent with the earlier finding that K(+) homeostasis is important in salt tolerance. To understand the molecular basis of this QTL, we isolated the SKC1 gene by map-based cloning and found that it encoded a member of HKT-type transporters. SKC1 is preferentially expressed in the parenchyma cells surrounding the xylem vessels. Voltage-clamp analysis showed that SKC1 protein functions as a Na(+)-selective transporter. Physiological analysis suggested that SKC1 is involved in regulating K(+)/Na(+) homeostasis under salt stress, providing a potential tool for improving salt tolerance in crops.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Ion Transport / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / metabolism*
  • Potassium / analysis
  • Potassium Channels / genetics
  • Potassium Channels / physiology
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*
  • Salts / metabolism
  • Sodium / analysis
  • Sodium / metabolism*
  • Sodium Channels / genetics*
  • Sodium Channels / physiology*
  • Sodium Chloride / metabolism


  • Potassium Channels
  • Salts
  • Sodium Channels
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sodium
  • Potassium

Associated data

  • GENBANK/DQ148410