A crucial feature of plant performance is its strong dependence on the availability of essential mineral nutrients, affecting multiple vital functions. Indeed, mineral-nutrient deficiency is one of the major stress factors affecting plant growth and development. Thereby, nitrogen and potassium represent the most abundant mineral contributors, critical for plant survival. While studying plant responses to nutrient deficiency, one should keep in mind that mineral nutrients, along with their specific metabolic roles, are directly involved in maintaining cell ion homeostasis, which relies on a finely tuned equilibrium between cytosolic and vacuolar ion pools. Therefore, in this chapter we briefly summarize the role of the ion homeostasis system in cell responses to environmental deficiency of nitrate and potassium ions. Special attention is paid to the implementation of plant responses via NO3− and K+ root transport and regulation of ion distribution in cell compartments. These responses are strongly dependent on plant species, as well as severity and duration of nutrient deficiency.
Part of the book: Cell Growth