Chloride: essential micronutrient and multifunctional beneficial ion

John A. Raven (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Cl− is an essential micronutrient for oxygenic photolithotrophs. About half of global primary productivity is carried out by oxygenic photolithotrophs exposed to saline waters with Cl− concentrations orders of magnitude higher than that needed to satisfy the micronutrient requirement. The other half of primary productivity involves terrestrial and freshwater glycophytes sometimes in environments containing significantly more Cl− than is needed for the micronutrient requirement, but less than the toxic Cl– concentration for glycophytes. Intracellular Cl− acts in regulation of cell turgor and volume, including that of stomatal and pulvinar nastic movements, is a major ion in streptophyte and ulvophycean action potentials, and is involved in ion currents flowing around apices of pollen tubes and Acetabularia cells. More work is needed on the essentiality of Cl− in these processes, as well as the recent finding that Cl− at 1–5 mol m−3 increases water use efficiency of growth and leaf area in Nicotiana tabacum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number3
Early online date31 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2016


  • Action potential
  • Active transport
  • Beneficial nutrient
  • Chloride
  • Ion channels
  • Micronutrient
  • Pulvini
  • Stomata
  • Turgor regulation
  • Water use efficiency


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