Plant cells depend on solutes for their turgor pressure and growth. Growth requires the uptake of water driven by gradients in solute concentration. Solutes are also required as substrates for reactions that generate the physical substance of cells. Solutes are at the centre of plant life. Advances in chemical analysis have allowed many of the solutes in cells to be identified and their location discovered and led to the description of the 'proteome' (the proteins in cells), the 'metabolome' (the profile of small metabolites in cells) and the 'ionome' (the ions in cells; Salt, 2004). Understanding how plants respond to changes in their ionome is at the heart of this book.

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