Potassium is an essential mineral element for plant growth and development. Although it is known that plants absorb and transport K+ through membrane transporters, it remains unclear how these transporters are regulated. Here we show that the protein kinase CIPK23, encoded by the LKS1 gene, regulates K+ uptake under low-K+ conditions. Lesion of LKS1 significantly reduced K+ uptake and caused leaf chlorosis and growth inhibition, whereas overexpression of LKS1 significantly enhanced K+ uptake and tolerance to low K+. We demonstrate that CIPK23 directly phosphorylates the K+ transporter AKT1 and further find that CIPK23 is activated by the binding of two calcineurin B-like proteins, CBL1 and CBL9. We propose a model in which the CBL1/9-CIPK23 pathway ensures activation of AKT1 and enhanced K+ uptake under low-K+ conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)