For Sustainable Crop Production: The First Discovery of a Plant Transceptor Which Directly Senses Nutrient Concentrations During the Transport Cycle

Plants take up and translocate nutrients through transporters (Keyword 1). Boron (B) is essential for plant growth and survival due to its function in cross-liking pectin in the cell wall. Similar to most essential nutrients, excessive supply of B inhibits plant growth. Since both B deficiency and toxicity are agricultural problems worldwide, it is important to understand the mechanisms for plants to cope with changing B conditions.

Using Arabidopsis (Keyword 2) as a model plant, we revealed that BOR1, a key transporter for B translocation in plants, is a transporter-receptor—a so-called “transceptor”. Our results suggested that BOR1 directly senses the B concentration during the transport cycle and promotes its own degradation under high-B conditions. This is a simple and efficient mechanism for maintenance of nutrient acquisition at appropriate levels. This finding will lead to develop plants or methods for sustainable crop production with reduced fertilizer use.

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