NO acts a signalling agent in both animal and plant cells, elevating cytosolic free Ca2+ as a second messenger (1,2). In animals, NO is involved in neurotransmission, inflammation and muscle function. A range of animal cation channel proteins are regulated by NO (through nitrosylation) to facilitate Ca2+ flux. These include voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and ryanodine receptors. In plants, NO is involved in gas exchange, pollen tube and root growth, drought and thermotolerance plus defence against pathogens. The molecular identity of NO-regulated plant Ca2+ channels remains largely unknown and to date, the effects of NO on root Ca2+ channels has not been reported. In this study, the effects of NO on the activity of the Arabidopsis root plasma membrane Ca2+ channels we have previously characterised will be tested (3-5). Additionally, channels identified from nitrosylation studies will provide the entry route into discovering their molecular identity. Measuring changes in cytosolic free Ca2+ in loss of function mutants will enable cellular context to be established.
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