After a long time out (more than a year!) I'm back online with a bang! I was lucky to be involved in this work where we found out how quinoa, when grown in saline soils, store away the excessive salt taken from the soil into the balloon shaped structures, called bladders (I already talked about them in my first every blog). When quinoa is exposed to saline soils, sodium and chloride ions travel from the root through the shoot and the leaves. High concentrations of these ions are however toxic to the plants. So quinoa, to avoid this, transfers these toxic ions into external storage "sites" called bladder cells, which are connected to the outer cell layer of the leaves via the stalk cells. This morphological adjustment makes the plant tolerant to saline conditions. On their way into these final storage sites for salt the ions have to overcome several membrane barriers. This is accomplished by transport proteins which are specialised for sodium and chloride ions, which were the focus of this work. Could this be used to selectively breed salt-tolerant crops in the future? I hope so! Stay tuned!