Scientists from the University of Adelaide discovered that a protein that
regulates salt balance in animals works similarly with plants. Their
findings which are published in the Plant Cell and Environment journal may
help scientists modify plants to respond to high salt and low water
Proteins called aquaporins are present in both plants and animals. They
function as pores by transporting water across membranes and play vital
roles in regulating water content of cells. According to Prof. Steve
Tyerman, lead author of the study, aquaporins function in the water
filtration activities in the kidney while in plants, they filter the water
that goes through the plant. However, in certain conditions, some aquaporins
allow sodium ions to pass through it. Scientists have been wondering which
pores enable salt to enter plant roots. Since a particular type of double
barreled aquaporin is found to be abundant in the surface of roots, it could
be the answer.
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