Igor Pottosin

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Igor Pottosin

Visiting Professional Fellow


General Responsibilities

From 1996 I am working at the University of Colima as a Professor of Physiology, since 1998 also accredited by SNI as a Federal Research Fellow. I am internationally recognized for the pioneering studies of the intracellular channels in plants. My current project, supported by the Mexican Research Council (CONACyT) is devoted to the role of polyamines in the control of plasma membrane ion transport under salt stress.

Polyamines are unique polycationic metabolites, which are known to control multiple cation channels in animal cells, some plant intracellular channels, and more recently, also several ones of the plant cell membranes. The latter, however, turned to be a much more complicated issue compared, as we found out that polyamine effects on plasma membrane ion channels in plants were indirect, thus, not easily reproducible on isolated membranes. This forced us to look up what happened in intact living tissues, by applying non-invasive MIFE technique and microelectrode impalements.

During my 4-months stay in Sergey´s lab supported by the Tasmanian University Visiting Fellowship, we were able to demonstrate that, in a species- and concentration-dependent manner, polyamines were able to provoke pronounced changes in the resting membrane potential (MP). Such changes will inevitably affect all electrogenic events and transports occurred at plasma membrane. It was very curious to see, that depending on its concentration within a physiological range, a natural tetra-amine spermine could evoke either negative or positive MP changes. Even more curiously, at higher achievable range of concentrations spermine provoked a sustained membrane depolarization. In contrast, the same plant, pea, which is considered to be salt-sensitive, although displaying a similar by magnitude initial depolarization while challenged by high external salinity, was able to restore the initial level of the MP within few minutes! Increase of polyamine levels is a common component of stress (e.g. salt) responses in plants, but obviously polyamines exert differential effects on ion transport as compared to the salt itself, which may be due to the activation of additional cation channels and/or suppression of the ion pumps activity. Both alternatives are intriguing, because classical view is that polyamines are normally the channel blockers and positive regulators of the pumps. We have shown also by a combination of MIFE and patch-clamp techniques that polyamines are able to potentiate the ionotropic effects of other stress molecules, in particular reactive oxygen species. This synergism implies that plant stress responses need to be investigated by a systemic approach, assuming the simultaneous and interactive effects of different key factors, rather than exploring the effects of a single isolated factor- an important lecture to be learned!

View more on Professor Igor Pottosin in WARP

Fields of Research

  • Plant physiology (310806)
  • Crop and pasture improvement (incl. selection and breeding) (300406)
  • Plant cell and molecular biology (310803)
  • Animal physiology - cell (310909)
  • Crop and pasture biochemistry and physiology (300404)
  • Crop and pasture nutrition (300407)
  • Receptors and membrane biology (310110)
  • Cell development, proliferation and death (310102)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences (280102)
  • Environmentally sustainable plant production (260199)
  • Barley (260301)
  • Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences (280111)
  • Grains and seeds (260399)
  • Other plant production and plant primary products (269999)
  • Industrial crops (260699)
  • Maize (260306)
  • Pasture, browse and fodder crops (100599)


Total publications


Journal Article

(18 outputs)
2018Pottosin I, Zepeda-Jazo I, Bose J, Shabala S, 'An anion conductance, the essential component of the hydroxyl-radical-induced ion current in plant roots', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19 Article 897. ISSN 1422-0067 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3390/ijms19030897 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 9

Co-authors: Shabala S


2016Pottosin I, Shabala S, 'Transport across chloroplast membranes: optimizing photosynthesis for adverse environmental conditions', Molecular Plant, 9, (3) pp. 356-370. ISSN 1674-2052 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.molp.2015.10.006 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 79Web of Science - 80

Co-authors: Shabala S


2016Shabala L, Zhang J, Pottosin I, Bose J, Zhu M, et al., 'Cell-type-specific H+-ATPase activity in root tissues enables K+ retention and mediates acclimation of barley (Hordeum vulgare) to salinity stress', Plant Physiology, 172, (4) pp. 2445-2458. ISSN 1532-2548 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1104/pp.16.01347 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 117Web of Science - 111

Co-authors: Shabala L; Zhang J; Bose J; Zhu M; Wu H; Zhou M; Shabala S


2016Shabala S, Bose J, Fuglsang AT, Pottosin I, 'On a quest for stress tolerance genes: membrane transporters in sensing and adapting to hostile soils', Journal of Experimental Botany, 67, (4) pp. 1015-1031. ISSN 0022-0957 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erv465 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 114Web of Science - 104

Co-authors: Shabala S; Bose J


2014Bose J, Shabala L, Pottosin I, Zeng F, Velarde-Buendia A-M, et al., 'Kinetics of xylem loading, membrane potential maintenance, and sensitivity of K+-permeable channels to reactive oxygen species: physiological traits that differentiate salinity tolerance between pea and barley', Plant, Cell and Environment, 37, (3) pp. 589-600. ISSN 0140-7791 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/pce.12180 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 97Web of Science - 90

Co-authors: Bose J; Shabala L; Zeng F; Hariadi Y; Shabala S


2014Pottosin I, Shabala S, 'Polyamines control of cation transport across plant membranes: implications for ion homeostasis and abiotic stress signaling', Frontiers in Plant Science, 5 Article 154. ISSN 1664-462X (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00154 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 146Web of Science - 130

Co-authors: Shabala S


2014Pottosin I, Velarde-Buendia AM, Bose J, Fuglsang AT, Shabala S, 'Polyamines cause plasma membrane depolarization, activate Ca2+-, and modulate H+-ATPase pump activity in pea roots', Journal of Experimental Botany, 65, (9) pp. 2463-2472. ISSN 0022-0957 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eru133 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 70Web of Science - 66

Co-authors: Bose J; Shabala S


2014Pottosin I, Velarde-Buendia AM, Bose J, Zepeda-Jazo I, Shabala S, et al., 'Cross-talk between reactive oxygen species and polyamines in regulation of ion transport across the plasma membrane: implications for plant adaptive responses', Journal of Experimental Botany, 65, (5) pp. 1271-1283. ISSN 0022-0957 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ert423 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 155Web of Science - 147

Co-authors: Bose J; Shabala S


2014Shabala S, Pottosin I, 'Regulation of potassium transport in plants under hostile conditions: implications for abiotic and biotic stress tolerance', Physiologia Plantarum, 151, (3) pp. 257-279. ISSN 0031-9317 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/ppl.12165 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 432Web of Science - 397

Co-authors: Shabala S


2013Bonales Alatorre E, Shabala S, Chen Z-H, Pottosin I, 'Reduced tonoplast fast-activating and slow-activating channel activity is essential for conferring salinity tolerance in a facultative halophyte, quinoa', Plant Physiology, 162, (2) pp. 940-952. ISSN 0032-0889 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1104/pp.113.216572 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 113Web of Science - 105

Co-authors: Bonales Alatorre E; Shabala S


2013Bonales-Alatorre E, Pottosin I, Shabala L, Chen Z-H, Zeng F, et al., 'Differential activity of plasma and vacuolar membrane transporters contributes to genotypic differences in salinity tolerance in a halophyte species, Chenopodium quinoa', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14, (5) pp. 9267-9285. ISSN 1422-0067 (2013) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3390/ijms14059267 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 74Web of Science - 70

Co-authors: Bonales-Alatorre E; Shabala L; Chen Z-H; Zeng F; Shabala S


2012Pottosin I, Velarde-Buendia A-M, Zepeda-Jazo I, Dobrovinskaya O, Shabala S, 'Synergism between polyamines and ROS in the induction of Ca2+ and K+ fluxes in roots', Plant Signaling & Behavior, 7, (9) pp. 1084-1087. ISSN 1559-2316 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.4161/psb.21185 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 39

Co-authors: Shabala S


2012Velarde-Buendia AM, Shabala S, Cvikrova M, Dobrovinskaya O, Pottosin I, 'Salt-sensitive and salt-tolerant barley varieties differ in the extent of potentiation of the ROS-induced K+ efflux by polyamines', Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 61 pp. 18-23. ISSN 0981-9428 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2012.09.002 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 87Web of Science - 78

Co-authors: Shabala S


2011Bose J, Pottosin II, Shabala SS, Palmgren MG, Shabala S, 'Calcium efflux systems in stress signaling and adaptation in plants', Frontiers in Plant Science, 2 Article 85. ISSN 1664-462X (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2011.00085 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 189Web of Science - 159

Co-authors: Bose J; Shabala SS; Shabala S


2011Zepeda-Jazo I, Velarde-Buendia AM, Enriquez-Figueroa R, Bose J, Shabala S, et al., 'Polyamines Interact with Hydroxyl Radicals in Activating Ca2+ and K+ Transport across the Root Epidermal Plasma Membranes 1[W]', Plant Physiology, 157, (4) pp. 2167-2180. ISSN 0032-0889 (2011) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1104/pp.111.179671 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 132Web of Science - 116

Co-authors: Bose J; Shabala S


2010Pandolfi C, Pottosin I, Cuin TA, Mancuso S, Shabala SN, 'Specificity of polyamine effects on NaCl-induced ion flux kinetics and salt stress amelioration in plants', Plant and Cell Physiology, 51, (3) pp. 422-434. ISSN 0032-0781 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcq007 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 72Web of Science - 65

Co-authors: Pandolfi C; Cuin TA; Shabala SN


2009Pottosin I, Wherrett TC, Shabala SN, 'SV channels dominate the vacuolar Ca2+ release during intracellular signaling', F E B S Letters: (Federation of European Biochemical Societies), 583, (5) pp. 921-926. ISSN 0014-5793 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2009.02.009 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 47Web of Science - 46

Co-authors: Wherrett TC; Shabala SN


2009Valencia-Cruz G, Shabala Lana, Delgado-Enciso I, Shabala SN, Bonales-Alatorree E, et al., 'Kbg and Kv1.3 channels mediate potassium efflux in the early phase of apoptosis in Jurkat T lymphocytes', American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology, 297, (6) pp. C1544-C1553. ISSN 0363-6143 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1152/ajpcell.00064.2009 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 43Web of Science - 36

Co-authors: Shabala Lana; Shabala SN


Chapter in Book

(3 outputs)
2015Pottosin I, 'Polyamine action on plant ion channels and pumps', Polyamines: A Universal Molecular Nexus for Growth, Survival, and Specialized Metabolism, Springer, T Kusano, H Suzuki (ed), Japan, pp. 229-242. ISBN 978-4-431-55211-6 (2015) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-4-431-55212-3_19 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8


2013Pottosin I, Velarde-Buendia A-M, Dobrovinskaya O, 'Potassium and sodium transport channels under NaCl stress', Physiological Mechanisms and Adaptation Strategies in Plants Under Changing Environment, Springer, P Ahmad, MR Wani (ed), New York, United States, pp. 325-360. ISBN 978-1-4614-8599-5 (2013) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4614-8600-8_12 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2


2010Shabala SN, Pottosin I, 'Potassium and potassium-permeable channels in plant salt tolerance', Ion Channels and Plant Stress Responses, Signaling and Communications in Plants, Springer, V Demidchik and F Maathuis (ed), Berlin Heidelberg, pp. 87-110. ISBN 978-3-642-10493-0 (2010) [Research Book Chapter]

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-10494-7_5 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Shabala SN