Osmotic Regulation in Freshwater and Salt Tolerant Charophyte Algae
Mary Bisson Principal Investigator
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Osmotic Regulation in Freshwater and Salt Tolerant Charophyte Algae: Salt tolerance is important in determining the natural distribution of plants and in determining yield of agricultural crop plants in saline soils which are naturally saline or arise from irrigation. Algae provide a model system for studying salt tolerance, because stresses can be applied more precisely and responses can be analyzed in more detail. Two closely related species of Charophyte algae differ in their salt tolerance: Chara corallina is a freshwater alga that does not regulate its turgor; C. buckellii is salt tolerant and is able to regulate turgor. By studying the difference between these species these studies will elucidate the mechanism of turgor regulation. The research objectives are to further characterize the difference between the two species with respect to their ability to regulate turgor and withstand high salt concentration, using survivorship, membrane potentials, and ion composition; to identify transport systems important to turgor regulation using patch clamp and to isolate and characterize the H+-ATPase of the plasmalemma which may provide energy for transport systems.