Chloride on the Move

Trends Plant Sci. 2017 Mar;22(3):236-248. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2016.12.004. Epub 2017 Jan 9.


Chloride (Cl-) is an essential plant nutrient but under saline conditions it can accumulate to toxic levels in leaves; limiting this accumulation improves the salt tolerance of some crops. The rate-limiting step for this process - the transfer of Cl- from root symplast to xylem apoplast, which can antagonize delivery of the macronutrient nitrate (NO3-) to shoots - is regulated by abscisic acid (ABA) and is multigenic. Until recently the molecular mechanisms underpinning this salt-tolerance trait were poorly defined. We discuss here how recent advances highlight the role of newly identified transport proteins, some that directly transfer Cl- into the xylem, and others that act on endomembranes in 'gatekeeper' cell types in the root stele to control root-to-shoot delivery of Cl-.

Keywords: ALMT9; CCC; GmSALT3; NPF2.4; SLAH1; long-distance transport.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chlorides / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plant Shoots / genetics
  • Plant Shoots / metabolism
  • Xylem / genetics
  • Xylem / metabolism


  • Chlorides
  • Plant Proteins