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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Tumour development in Arabidopsis thaliana involves the Shaker-like K+ channels AKT1 and AKT2/3.

After completion of the Arabidopsis genome-sequencing programme, crown galls induced by Agrobacterium tumefaciens may become a model system to study plant tumour development. The molecular mechanisms of nutrient supply to support tumour growth and development are still unknown. In this study, we have identified a unique profile of Shaker-like potassium channels in agrobacteria-induced Arabidopsis tumours. Comparing the gene expression pattern of rapidly growing tumours with that of non-infected tissues, we found the suppression of shoot in favour of root-specific K+ channels. Among these, the upregulation of AKT1 and AtKC1 and the suppression of AKT2/3 and GORK were most pronounced. As a consequence, K+ uptake and accumulation were elevated in the tumour (163 mm) compared to control tissues (92 mm). Patch clamp studies on tumour protoplasts identified a population expressing the electrical properties of the AKT1 K+ channel. Furthermore, plants lacking a functional AKT1 or the AKT2/3 phloem K+ channel gene did not support tumour growth. This indicates that the delivery of potassium by AKT1 and the direction of assimilates, triggered by AKT2/3, are essential for tumour growth.[1]


  1. Tumour development in Arabidopsis thaliana involves the Shaker-like K+ channels AKT1 and AKT2/3. Deeken, R., Ivashikina, N., Czirjak, T., Philippar, K., Becker, D., Ache, P., Hedrich, R. Plant J. (2003) [Pubmed]
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