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Type: Journal article
Title: GABA signalling modulates plant growth by directly regulating the activity of plant-specific anion transporters
Author: Ramesh, S.
Tyerman, S.
Xu, B.
Bose, J.
Kaur, S.
Conn, V.
Domingos, P.
Ullah, S.
Wege, S.
Shabala, S.
Feijó, J.
Ryan, P.
Gillham, M.
Citation: Nature Communications, 2015; 6(1):7879-1-7879-9
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 2041-1723
Statement of
Sunita A. Ramesh, Stephen D. Tyerman, Bo Xu, Jayakumar Bose, Satwinder Kaur, Vanessa Conn, Patricia Domingos, Sana Ullah, Stefanie Wege, Sergey Shabala, José A. Feijó, Peter R. Ryan & Matthew Gillham
Abstract: The non-protein amino acid, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) rapidly accumulates in plant tissues in response to biotic and abiotic stress, and regulates plant growth. Until now it was not known whether GABA exerts its effects in plants through the regulation of carbon metabolism or via an unidentified signalling pathway. Here, we demonstrate that anion flux through plant aluminium-activated malate transporter (ALMT) proteins is activated by anions and negatively regulated by GABA. Site-directed mutagenesis of selected amino acids within ALMT proteins abolishes GABA efficacy but does not alter other transport properties. GABA modulation of ALMT activity results in altered root growth and altered root tolerance to alkaline pH, acid pH and aluminium ions. We propose that GABA exerts its multiple physiological effects in plants via ALMT, including the regulation of pollen tube and root growth, and that GABA can finally be considered a legitimate signalling molecule in both the plant and animal kingdoms.
Keywords: Oocytes; Animals; Xenopus laevis; Arabidopsis; Hordeum; Triticum; Tobacco; Vitis; Acidosis; Aluminum; gamma-Aminobutyric Acid; Bicuculline; Muscimol; Organic Anion Transporters; Plant Proteins; Microscopy, Confocal; Patch-Clamp Techniques; Mutagenesis, Site-Directed; Signal Transduction; Amino Acid Motifs; Membrane Potentials; Pollen Tube; Stress, Physiological; GABA-A Receptor Agonists; GABA-A Receptor Antagonists
Rights: © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
RMID: 0030032301
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8879
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Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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