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A PIP1 Aquaporin contributes to hydrostatic pressure-induced water transport in both the root and rosette of Arabidopsis

Postaire O., Tournaire-Roux C., Grondin A., Boursiac Y., Morillon R., Schäffner A.R., Maurel C.. 2010. Plant Physiology, 152 (3) : p. 1418-1430.

DOI: 10.1104/pp.109.145326

Aquaporins are channel proteins that facilitate the transport of water across plant cell membranes. In this work, we used a combination of pharmacological and reverse genetic approaches to investigate the overall significance of aquaporins for tissue water conductivity in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We addressed the function in roots and leaves of AtPIP1;2, one of the most abundantly expressed isoforms of the plasma membrane intrinsic protein family. At variance with the water transport phenotype previously described in AtPIP2;2 knockout mutants, disruption of AtPIP1;2 reduced by 20% to 30% the root hydrostatic hydraulic conductivity but did not modify osmotic root water transport. These results document qualitatively distinct functions of different PIP isoforms in root water uptake. The hydraulic conductivity of excised rosettes (Kros) was measured by a novel pressure chamber technique. Exposure of Arabidopsis plants to darkness increased Kros by up to 90%. Mercury and azide, two aquaporin inhibitors with distinct modes of action, were able to induce similar inhibition of Kros by approximately 13% and approximately 25% in rosettes from plants grown in the light or under prolonged (11-18 h) darkness, respectively. Prolonged darkness enhanced the transcript abundance of several PIP genes, including AtPIP1;2. Mutant analysis showed that, under prolonged darkness conditions, AtPIP1;2 can contribute to up to approximately 20% of Kros and to the osmotic water permeability of isolated mesophyll protoplasts. Therefore, AtPIP1;2 can account for a significant portion of aquaporin-mediated leaf water transport. The overall work shows that AtPIP1;2 represents a key component of whole-plant hydraulics.

Mots-clés : arabidopsis thaliana; protéine végétale; physiologie végétale; membrane cellulaire; absorption d'eau; système racinaire

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