Plant Aquaporins: Roles in Plant Physiology.
ABSTRACT Aquaporins are membrane channels that facilitate the transport of water and small neutral molecules across biological membranes of most living organisms.
Here, we present comprehensive insights made on plant aquaporins in recent years, pointing to their molecular and physiological specificities with respect to animal or microbial counterparts.
In plants, aquaporins occur as multiple isoforms reflecting a high diversity of cellular localizations and various physiological substrates in addition to water. Of particular relevance for plants is the transport by aquaporins of dissolved gases such as carbon dioxide or metalloids such as boric or silicic acid. The mechanisms that determine the gating and subcellular localization of plant aquaporins are extensively studied. They allow aquaporin regulation in response to multiple environmental and hormonal stimuli. Thus, aquaporins play key roles in hydraulic regulation and nutrient transport in roots and leaves. They contribute to several plant growth and developmental processes such as seed germination or emergence of lateral roots.
Plants with genetically altered aquaporin functions are now tested for their ability to improve plant tolerance to stresses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Aquaporins.
- SourceAvailable from: Joan Laur[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Isohydric plants tend to maintain a water potential homeostasis primarily by controlling water loss via stomatal conductance. However, there is accumulating evidence that plants can also modulate water uptake in a dynamic manner. The dynamics of water uptake are influenced by aquaporin-mediated changes in root hydraulics. Most studies in this area have been conducted on herbaceous plants, and less is known about responses of woody plants. Here a study was conducted to determine how roots of hybrid poplar plants (Populus trichocarpa×deltoides) respond to a step change in transpirational demand. The main objective was to measure the expression of selected aquaporin genes and to assess how transcriptional responses correspond to changes in root water flow (Q R) and other parameters of water relations. A subset of plants was grown in shade and was subsequently exposed to a 5-fold increase in light level. Another group of plants was grown at ~95% relative humidity (RH) and was then subjected to lower RH while the light level remained unchanged. Both plant groups experienced a transient drop in stem water potentials. At 28h after the increase in transpirational demand, water potentials recovered. This recovery was associated with changes in the expression of PIP1 and PIP2 subfamily genes and an increase in Q R. Stomata of plants growing at high RH were larger and showed incomplete closure after application of abscisic acid. Since stomatal conductance remained high and unchanged in these plants, it is suggested that the recovery in water potential in these plants was largely driven by the increase in Q R.Journal of Experimental Botany 04/2013; · 5.24 Impact Factor