Ion transport and adaptation to environment in cereals

Group leader: Anne-Aliénor Véry
Senior Scientist CNRS



Key words

rice, wheat, K+, Na+, salt stress, drought, electrophysiology


The team investigates the role of transporters and ion channels in the mineral nutrition of the plant and its adaptation to abiotic stresses: K+ deficiency, salt or water stress or soil contamination with toxic monovalent cations like 137Cs+ in relation with Fukushima accident (collaboration with Japanese teams and CEA ).

The plants studied are mainly cereals (rice , barley, wheat ), rice being selected as a model species.

Targeted transport systems mainly belong to the family of K+ and / or Na+ HKT transporters, and families of K+ carriers or channels (KUP / HAK and Shaker).

Team members
Main results
Significant publications

Rongsawat T, Peltier J-B, Boyer J-C, Véry A-A, Sentenac H✉ (2021) Looking for root hairs to overcome poor soils. Trends Plant Sci., 26(1):83-94

Somasundaram S*, Véry A-A*, Vinekar RS*, Ishikawa T, Kumari K, Pulipati S, Kumaresan K, Corratgé-Faillie C, Sowdhamini R, Parida A, Shabala L, Shabala S, Venkataraman G✉ (2020) Homology modeling identifies crucial amino-acid residues that confer higher Na+ transport capacity of OcHKT1;5 from Oryza coarctata Roxb . Plant Cell Physiol., 61(7):1321-1334

Khan I, Mohamed S, Regnault T, Mieulet D, Guiderdoni E, Sentenac H, Véry A-A✉ (2020) Constitutive contribution by the rice OsHKT1;4 Na+ transporter to xylem sap desalinization and low Na+ accumulation in young leaves under low as high external Na+ conditions. Front. Plant Sci., 11:1130

Hmidi D, Messedi D, Claire Corratgé-Faillie, Marhuenda T, Fizames C, Zorrig W, Abdelly C, Sentenac H, Véry A-A✉ (2019) Investigation of Na+ and K+ transport in halophytes: Functional analysis of the HmHKT2;1 transporter from Hordeum maritimum and expression under saline conditions. Plant Cell Physiol., 60(11):2423-2435

Huang L-T*, Zhao L-N*, Gao L-W, Véry A-A, Sentenac H, Zhang Y-D✉ (2018) Constitutive expression of CmSKOR, an outward K+ channel gene from melon, in Arabidopsis thaliana involved in saline tolerance. Plant Sci., 274:492-502

Chu TTH, Hoang TG, Trinh DC, Bureau C, Meynard D, Vernet A, Ingouff M, Do NV, Périn C, Guiderdoni E, Gantet P, Maurel C, Luu D-T✉ (2018) Sub-cellular markers highlight intracellular dynamics of membrane proteins in response to abiotic treatments in rice. Rice, 11:23

Mohamed S, Sentenac H, Guiderdoni E, Véry A-A, Nieves-Cordones M✉ (2018) Internal Cs+ inhibits root elongation in rice. Plant Signal. Behav., 13(2):e1428516

Nieves-Cordones M✉, Mohamed S, Tanoi K, Kobayashi N, Takagi K, Vernet A, Guiderdoni E, Périn C, Sentenac H, Véry A-A✉ (2017) Production of low-Cs+ rice plants by inactivation of the K+ transporter OsHAK1 with the CRISPR-Cas system. Plant J., 92(1):43-56

Nguyen TH, Huang S, Meynard D, Chaine C, Michel R, Roelfsema MR, Guiderdoni E, Sentenac H, Véry A-A✉ (2017) A dual role for the OsK5.2 ion channel in stomatal movements and K+ loading into xylem sap. Plant Physiol., 174(4):2409-2418

Campbell MT, Bandillo N, Al Shiblawi FRA, Sharma S, Liu K, Du Q, Schmitz AJ, Zhang C, Véry A-A, Lorenz AJ, Walia H✉ (2017) Allelic variants of OsHKT1;1 underlie the divergence between indica and japonica subspecies of rice (Oryza sativa) for root sodium content. PLoS Genet., 13(6):e1006823

Tounsi S, Ben Amar S, Masmoudi K, Sentenac H, Brini F, Véry A-A✉ (2016) Characterisation of two HKT1;4 transporters from Triticum monococcum to elucidate the determinants of the wheat salt tolerance Nax1 QTL . Plant Cell Physiol., 57(10):2047-2057

Wang L, Yang S-Y, Guo M-Y, Huang Y-N, Sentenac H, Véry A-A✉, Su Y-H✉ (2016) The S1-S2 linker determines the distinct pH sensitivity between ZmK2.1 and KAT1. Plant J., 85(5):675-685

Taochy C, Gaillard I, Ipotesi E, Oomen RJFJ, Leonhardt N, Zimmermann S, Peltier J-B, Szponarski W, Simonneau T, Sentenac H, Gibrat R, Boyer J-C✉ (2015) The Arabidopsisroot stele transporter NPF2.3 contributes to nitrate translocation to shoots under salt stress. Plant J., 83(3):466-479

Ben Amar S, Brini F, Sentenac H, Masmoudi K, Véry A-A✉ (2014) Functional characterization in Xenopus oocytes of Na+ transport systems from durum wheat reveals diversity among two HKT1;4 transporters. J. Exp. Bot., 65(1):213-222

Oomen RJFJ, Benito B, Sentenac H, Rodríguez-Navarro A, Talón M, Véry A-A, Domingo C✉ (2012) HKT2;2/1, a K+-permeable transporter identified in a salt tolerant rice cultivar through surveys of natural genetic polymorphism. Plant J., 71(5):750-762

Mian A*, Oomen RJFJ✉*, Isayenkov S, Sentenac H, Maathuis FJM, Véry A-A (2011) Overexpression of a Na+ and K+-permeable HKT transporter in barley improves salt tolerance. Plant J., 68(3):468-479



Former team members

Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches : Jean-Benoît Peltier

April 29, 2021 2 PM – Exsudation racinaire, interaction avec le microbiote et nutrition minérale chez les blés sauvages et modernes

Press release: “coping with soil salinity: Lessons from a wild rice species”

Climate change and sea level rise is increasingly affecting coastal regions of India. Intrusion of sea water into agricultural lands in coastal regions is increasing soil salinity (increasing soil sodium ion content), affecting agricultural productivity.


July 2-13, 2018 – Montpellier International School on ion and water TRAnsport in PLant

E2M 2018

March 26-30 2018 (theorie) & May 14-18 (practice) – Ecole d’électrophysiologie de Montpellier – Contact: Hervé sentenac

Thesis defensed by Fouad Al Shiblawi

Nov. 15, 2017 – Plant adaptation to salinity stress: characterisation of ecotypic variants and knock-out lines for Na+ transport systems in rice

Thesis defended by Sonia Mohamed

Sep. 13, 2017 – Control of the accumulation of toxic cations in rice by changing carriers, architecture or anatomy root: application to a culture contaminated with Cesium-137 soil

Thesis defended by Thanh Hao Nguyen

Dec. 16, 2016 – Control of leaf transpiration in rice: molecular and functional analysis of K+ transport in stomata


Sep 26-29, 2016 – 14th International Symposium on Rice Functional Genomics

Thesis defended by Limin Wang

Jul. 16, 2015 – Electrophysiological characterization of ion conductances active at the Medicago truncatula root hair plasma membrane and potentially involved in the early Nod factor signaling

Thesis defended by Meriem Daly

Dec. 22, 2014 – Molecular and electrophysiological analysis of the diversity of transport systems involved in root K+ uptake in rice