Cesium Inhibits Plant Growth Primarily Through Reduction of Potassium Influx and Accumulation in Arabidopsis

Eri Adams, Takae Miyazaki, Shunya Saito, Nobuyuki Uozumi, Ryoung Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Cesium (Cs+) is known to compete with the macronutrient potassium (K+) inside and outside of plants and to inhibit plant growth at high concentrations. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms of how Cs + exerts its deleterious effects on K+ accumulation in plants are not fully elucidated. Here, we show that mutation in a member of the major K+ channel AKT1-KC1 complex renders Arabidopsis thaliana hypersensitive to Cs +. Higher severity of the phenotype and K+ loss were observed for these mutants in response to Cs + than to K+ deficiency. Electrophysiological analysis demonstrated that Cs +, but not sodium, rubidium or ammonium, specifically inhibited K+ influx through the AKT1-KC1 complex. In contrast, Cs + did not inhibit K+ efflux through the homomeric AKT1 channel that occurs in the absence of KC1, leading to a vast loss of K+. Our observation suggests that reduced K+ accumulation due to blockage/competition in AKT1 and other K+ transporters/channels by Cs + plays a major role in plant growth retardation. This report describes the mechanical role of Cs + in K+ accumulation, and in turn in plant performance, providing actual evidence at the plant level for what has long been believed, i.e. K+ channels are, therefore AKT1 is,€ blocked' by Cs +.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-76
Number of pages14
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • AKT1
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Cesium
  • KC1
  • Potassium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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