Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Effects of Ni2+ and Cu2+ on K+ and H+ currents in lily pollen protoplasts

Maria Breygina A B C , Denis V. Abramochkin A B , Nikita Maksimov A and Igor Yermakov A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskiye gory 1-12, Moscow, 119991, Russia.

B Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Ostrovitjanova street 1, Moscow, 117997, Russia.

C Corresponding author. Email: pollen-ions@yandex.ru

Functional Plant Biology 44(12) 1171-1177 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP17033
Submitted: 27 January 2017  Accepted: 17 July 2017   Published: 24 August 2017

Abstract

Heavy metals affect plant development and reproduction if they are present in excessive amounts, a situation that is becoming increasingly common. Pollen is a convenient object for pollution assessment as it is in most cases a 2- or 3-cellular organism exposed to the environment. At the same time, pollen is a key stage in the life cycle of seed plants; pollen viability and efficiency of germination are crucial for reproductive success and crop yield. In the present study we reveal for the first time, to our knowledge, targets for heavy metals (Cu2+ and Ni2+) in the pollen grain plasma membrane using the patch-clamp technique. Ni2+ dramatically decreases K+ current in pollen grain protoplasts, whereas Cu2+ does not alter the current density. Instead, Cu2+ strongly enhances H+ current driven by H+-ATPase, whereas Ni2+ fails to affect this current. The short-term treatment with Cu2+ also leads to reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation in pollen grain protoplasts but intracellular pH and membrane potential remain unchanged. Ni2+ had no significant effect on ROS content or membrane potential. Thus, plasmalemma K+ channels in pollen grains are sensitive to Ni2+ and H+-ATPase is sensitive to Cu2+, possibly, in a ROS-mediated way. Both metals leave pollen viable since membrane potential is maintained at the control level.

Additional keywords: copper, heavy metal, H+-ATPase, ion channel, nickel.


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