[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Na+ exclusion from leaf blades is one of the key mechanisms for glycophytes to cope with salinity stress. Certain class I transporters of the high-affinity K+ transporter (HKT) family have been demonstrated to mediate leaf blade-Na+ exclusion upon salinity stress via Na+-selective transport. Multiple HKT1 transporters are known to function in rice (Oryza sativa). However, the ion transport function of OsHKT1;4 and its contribution to the Na+ exclusion mechanism in rice remain to be elucidated. Results: Here, we report results of the functional characterization of the OsHKT1;4 transporter in rice. OsHKT1;4 mediated robust Na+ transport in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Xenopus laevis oocytes. Electrophysiological experiments demonstrated that OsHKT1;4 shows strong Na+ selectivity among cations tested, including Li+, Na+, K+, Rb+, Cs+, and NH4+, in oocytes. A chimeric protein, EGFP-OsHKT1;4, was found to be functional in oocytes and targeted to the plasma membrane of rice protoplasts. The level of OsHKT1;4 transcripts was prominent in leaf sheaths throughout the growth stages. Unexpectedly however, we demonstrate here accumulation of OsHKT1;4 transcripts in the stem including internode II and peduncle in the reproductive growth stage. Moreover, phenotypic analysis of OsHKT1;4 RNAi plants in the vegetative growth stage revealed no profound influence on the growth and ion accumulation in comparison with WT plants upon salinity stress. However, imposition of salinity stress on the RNAi plants in the reproductive growth stage caused significant Na+ overaccumulation in aerial organs, in particular, leaf blades and sheaths. In addition, 22Na+ tracer experiments using peduncles of RNAi and WT plants suggested xylem Na+ unloading by OsHKT1;4. Conclusions: Taken together, our results indicate a newly recognized function of OsHKT1;4 in Na+ exclusion in stems together with leaf sheaths, thus excluding Na+ from leaf blades of a japonica rice cultivar in the reproductive growth stage, but the contribution is low when the plants are in the vegetative growth stage.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · BMC Plant Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HKT transporters are Na(+)-permeable membrane proteins, which mediate Na(+) and K(+) homeostasis in K(+)-depleted and saline environments in plants. Class II HKT transporters, a distinct subgroup found predominantly in monocots, are known to mediate Na(+)-K(+) co-transport in principle. Here we report features of ion transport functions of No-OsHKT2;2/1, a class II transporter identified in a salt tolerant landrace of indica rice, Nona Bokra. We profiled No-OsHKT2;2/1 expression in organs of Nona Bokra plants with or without salinity stress. Dominant accumulation of the No-OsHKT2;2/1 transcript in K(+)-starved roots of Nona Bokra plants largely disappeared in response to 50 mM NaCl. We found that No-OsHKT2;2/1 expressed in the high-affinity K(+) uptake deficient mutant of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Xenopus laevis oocytes shows robust K(+) selectivity even in the presence of a large amount of NaCl as reported previously. However, No-OsHKT2;2/1-expressing yeast cells exhibited Na(+) hypersensitive growth under various concentrations of K(+) and Na(+) as the cells expressing Po-OsHKT2;2, a similar class II transporter from another salt tolerant indica rice Pokkali, when compared with the growth of cells harboring empty vector or cells expressing OsHKT2;4. The OsHKT2;4 protein expressed in Xenopus oocytes showed strong K(+) selectivity in the presence of 50 mM NaCl in comparison with No-OsHKT2;2/1 and Po-OsHKT2;2. Together with apparent plasma membrane-localization of No-OsHKT2;2/1, these results point to possibilities that No-OsHKT2;2/1 could mediate destructive Na(+) influx over K(+) uptake in Nona Bokra plants upon salinity stress, and that a predominant physiological function of No-OsHKT2;2/1 might be the acquisition of Na(+) and K(+) in K(+)-limited environments.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Journal of Plant Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salinity is a critical environmental factor that adversely affects crop productivity. Halophytes have evolved various mechanisms to adapt to saline environments. Salicornia europaea L. is one of the most salt-tolerant plant species. It does not have special salt-secreting structures like a salt gland or salt bladder, and is therefore a good model for studying the common mechanisms underlying plant salt tolerance. To identify candidate genes encoding key proteins in the mediation of salt tolerance in S. europaea, we performed a functional screen of a cDNA library in yeast. The library was screened for genes that allowed the yeast to grow in the presence of 1.3 M NaCl. We obtained three full-length S. europaea genes that confer salt tolerance. The genes are predicted to encode (1) a novel protein highly homologous to thaumatin-like proteins, (2) a novel coiled-coil protein of unknown function, and (3) a novel short peptide of 32 residues. Exogenous application of a synthetic peptide corresponding to the 32 residues improved salt tolerance of Arabidopsis. The approach described in this report provides a rapid assay system for large-scale screening of S. europaea genes involved in salt stress tolerance and supports the identification of genes responsible for such mechanisms. These genes may be useful candidates for improving crop salt tolerance by genetic transformation.
Preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Frontiers in Plant Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous reports indicate that salt stress reduces the root hydraulic conductance and the expression of plasmamembrane-type aquaporins (PIPs). As a molecular mechanism for this phenomenon, the present study found evidence that the osmotic component, but probably not an ion-specific component, decreases PIP transcripts. Eight of ten PIP transcripts were reduced to less than half by 360 mM mannitol treatment for 12 h in comparison with control samples. A large decrease of HvPIP2;1 protein was also recorded. This reduction of both transcripts and proteins of HvPIP2s should be physiologically effective for preventing or reducing dehydration at an initial phase of severe salt/osmotic stress. Root cell sap osmolality increased from 278 to 372 mOsm 24 h after 360 mM mannitol treatment. These steps can secure survival and growth recovery with water reabsorption in barley. Our data also suggest that H2O2 seems not to be the main cause of osmotic stress-induced transcriptional down-regulation within the concentrations (20-500 μM) and time periods (24 h) examined, although H2O2 was previously proposed to be involved in the mechanisms of salinity/osmotic tolerance.
Preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Journal of Plant Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mercury-sensitive water transport activities were detected in seven NIP (Nodulin 26-like intrinsic protein) type
aquaporins among eleven NIPs examined. Amino acid substitutions in rice OsNIP3;3 revealed that mercury-sensitivity
depended on a histidine (but not on a cysteine) in apoplastic loop C in plant NIP aquaporins, although the cysteine is
involved in the mercury-sensitivity of animal aquaporins. Rice OsNIP3;3 was also first identified as a unique aquaporin
facilitating all water, hydrogen peroxide and arsenite transports. In rice OsNIP3;2, hydrogen peroxide and arsenite transport
activities were detected, but water transport was not. Barley HvNIP1;2- or rice OsNIP2;1-expressing yeast cells showed the
arsenite transport activity but not the H2O2 transport activity. The present work revealed novel molecular mechanisms of
water and other low molecular weight compounds transport/selection in barley and rice NIP aquaporins, including the
histidine-related mercury-sensitivity in the water transport of aquaporins.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Plant Biotechnology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CO2 permeability of PIP2 aquaporins of Hordeum vulgare L. was investigated. Five PIP2 members were heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. CO2 permeability was determined by decrease of cytosolic pH in CO2-enriched buffer using a hydrogen ion-selective microelectrode. HvPIP2;1, HvPIP2;2, HvPIP2;3 and HvPIP2;5 facilitated CO2 transport across the oocyte cell membrane. However, HvPIP2;4 that is highly homologous to HvPIP2;3 did not. The isoleucine residue at position 254 of HvPIP2;3 was conserved in PIP2 aquaporins of barley except HvPIP2;4, which possesses methionine instead. CO2 permeability was lost by the substitution of the isoleucine-254 of HvPIP2;3 to methionine, while water permeability was not affected. These results suggest that PIP2 aquaporins permeate CO2 and the conserved isoleucine at the end of the E-loop is crucial for CO2 selectivity.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Plant and Cell Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the photosynthetic capacity and plant growth of tobacco plants overexpressing ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum L.) aquaporin McMIPB under (1) a well-watered growth condition, (2) a well-watered and temporal higher vapor pressure deficit (VPD) condition, and (3) a soil water deficit growth condition to investigate the effect of McMIPB on photosynthetic responses under moderate soil and atmospheric humidity and water deficit conditions. Transgenic plants showed a significantly higher photosynthesis rate (by 48 %), higher mesophyll conductance (by 52 %), and enhanced growth under the well-watered growth condition than those of control plants. Decreases in the photosynthesis rate and stomatal conductance from ambient to higher VPD were slightly higher in transgenic plants than those in control plants. When plants were grown under the soil water deficit condition, decreases in the photosynthesis rate and stomatal conductance were less significant in transgenic plants than those in control plants. McMIPB is likely to work as a CO(2) transporter, as well as control the regulation of stomata to water deficits.
Preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Plant Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background information:
Cyanobacteria possess Aquaporin-Z (AqpZ) membrane channels which have been suggested to mediate the water efflux underlying osmostress-inducible gene expression and to be essential for glucose metabolism under photomixotrophic growth. However, preliminary observations suggest that the biophy-sical properties of transport and physiological meaning of AqpZ in such photosynthetic microorganisms are not yet completely assessed.
In this study, we used Xenopus laevis oocyte and proteoliposome systems to directly demonstrate the water permeability of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC7942 aquaporin, SsAqpZ. By an in vitro assay of intracellular acidification in yeast cells, SsAqpZ was found to transport also CO2 . Consistent with this result, during the entire exponential phase of growth, Synechococcus SsAqpZ-null-mutant cells grew slower than the corresponding wild-type cells. This phenotype was stronger with higher levels of extracellular CO2 . In line with the conversion of CO2 gas into HCO3(-) ions under alkaline conditions, the impairment in growth of the SsAqpZ-null strain was weaker in more alkaline culture medium.
Cyanobacterial SsAqpZ may exert a pleiotropic function in addition to the already reported roles in macronutrient homeostasis and osmotic-stress response as it appears to constitute an important pathway in CO2 uptake, a fundamental step in photosynthesis.
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Biology of the Cell
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effects of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium deficiencies on water transport properties in figleaf gourd plants were studied. Plants were treated for different period of deficiency and physiological parameters such as stomatal conductance, photosynthesis and transpiration were measured. Cell and root pressure probes were utilized to measure turgor and root pressures, half-times of water exchange and hydraulic conductivities to analyze water transport properties. When plants were grown in nitrogen or phosphorus deficient nutrient solutions, they became insensitive to mercury, suggesting that aquaporin was closed resulting in reduced hydraulic conductivity. Inclusion of tungstate, however, restored the sensitivity of cells to mercury, indicating the importance of internal nutrient concentration, not the incoming nutrient supply. The hydrostatic hydraulic conductivity of roots grown in nitrogen deficient solution, representing apoplastic pathway of water transport, was reduced but this reduction was dramatically recovered by the application of tungstate, indicating the importance of nutrient availability from storage pools in relation to water status of plants.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Horticulture, Environment and Biotechnology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OsPIP1;1 is one of the most abundant aquaporins in rice leaves and roots and is highly responsible to environmental stresses. However, its biochemical and physiological functions are still largely unknown. The oocyte assay data showed OsPIP1;1 had lower water channel activity in contrast to OsPIP2;1. EGFP and immunoelectron microscopy studies revealed OsPIP1;1 was predominantly localized in not only plasma membrane but also in some ER-like intracellular compartments in the cells. OsPIP1;1 exhibited low water channel activity in Xenopus oocytes but coexpression of OsPIP2;1 significantly enhanced its water permeability. Stop-flow assay indicated that 10His-OsPIP1;1-reconstituted proteoliposomes had significantly higher water permeability than the control liposomes. Overexpression of OsPIP1;1 greatly altered many physiological features of transgenic plants in a dosage-dependent manner. Moderate expression of OsPIP1;1 increased rice seed yield, salt resistance, root hydraulic conductivity, and seed germination rate. This work suggests OsPIP1;1 functions as an active water channel and plays important physiological roles.
No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Water homeostasis is crucial to the growth and survival of plants. Plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs) have been shown to be primary channels mediating water uptake in plant cells. We characterized a novel PIP2 gene, HvPIP2;8 in barley (Hordeum vulgare). HvPIP2;8 shared 72-76% identity with other HvPIP2s and 74% identity with rice OsPIP2;8. The gene was expressed in all organs including the shoots, roots and pistil at a similar level. When HvPIP2;8 was transiently expressed in onion epidermal cells, it was localized to the plasma membrane. HvPIP2;8 showed transport activity for water in Xenopus oocytes, however its interaction with HvPIP1;2 was not observed. These results suggest that HvPIP2;8 plays a role in water homeostasis although further functional analysis is required in future.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aluminum (Al) stress represses mitochondrial respiration and produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plants. Mitochondrial alternative oxidase (AOX) uncouples respiration from mitochondrial ATP production and may improve plant performance under Al stress by preventing excess accumulation of ROS. We tested respiratory changes and ROS production in isolated mitochondria and whole cell of tobacco (SL, ALT 301) under Al stress. Higher capacities of AOX pathways relative to cytochrome pathways were observed in both isolated mitochondria and whole cells of ALT301 under Al stress. AOX1 when studied showed higher AOX1 expression in ALT 301 than SL cells under stress. In order to study the function of tobacco AOX gene under Al stress, we produced transformed tobacco cell lines by introducing NtAOX1 expressed under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35 S promoter in sensitive (SL) Nicotiana tabacum L. cell lines. The enhancement of endogenous AOX1 expression and AOX protein with or without Al stress was in the order of transformed tobacco cell lines > ALT301 > wild type (SL). A decreased respiratory inhibition and reduced ROS production with a better growth capability were the significant features that characterized AOX1 transformed cell lines under Al stress. These results demonstrated that AOX plays a critical role in Al stress tolerance with an enhanced respiratory capacity, reducing mitochondrial oxidative stress burden and improving the growth capability in tobacco cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of low air humidity and low root temperature (LRT) on water uptake, growth and aquaporin gene expression were
investigated in rice plants. The daily transpiration of the plants grown at low humidity was 1.5- to 2-fold higher than that
at high humidity. LRT at 13°C reduced transpiration, and the extent was larger at lower humidity. LRT also reduced total dry
matter production and leaf area expansion, and the extent was again larger at lower humidity. These observations suggest that
the suppression of plant growth by LRT is associated with water stress due to decreased water uptake ability of the root.
On the other hand, the net assimilation rate was not affected by low humidity and LRT, and water use efficiency was larger
for LRT. We found that low humidity induced coordinated up-regulation of many PIP and TIP aquaporin genes in both the leaves and the roots. Expression levels of two root-specific aquaporin genes, OsPIP2;4 and OsPIP2;5, were increased significantly after 6 and 13 d of LRT exposure. Taken together, we discuss the possibility that aquaporins
are part of an integrated response of this crop to low air humidity and LRT.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Plant and Cell Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated Na+ levels in agricultural lands are increasingly becoming a serious threat to the world agriculture. Plants suffer osmotic and ionic stress under high salinity due to the salts accumulated at the outside of roots and those accumulated at the inside of the plant cells, respectively. Mechanisms of salinity tolerance in plants have been extensively studied and in the recent years these studies focus on the function of key enzymes and plant morphological traits. Here, we provide an updated overview of salt tolerant mechanisms in glycophytes with a particular interest in rice (Oryza sativa) plants. Protective mechanisms that prevent water loss due to the increased osmotic pressure, the development of Na+ toxicity on essential cellular metabolisms, and the movement of ions via the apoplastic pathway (i.e. apoplastic barriers) are described here in detail.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of class II of the HKT transporters, which have thus far only been isolated from grasses, were found to mediate Na(+)-K(+) cotransport and at high Na(+) concentrations preferred Na(+)-selective transport, depending on the ionic conditions. But the physiological functions of this K(+)-transporting class II of HKT transporters remain unknown in plants, with the exception of the unique class II Na(+) transporter OsHKT2;1. The genetically tractable rice (Oryza sativa; background Nipponbare) possesses two predicted K(+)-transporting class II HKT transporter genes, OsHKT2;3 and OsHKT2;4. In this study, we have characterized the ion selectivity of the class II rice HKT transporter OsHKT2;4 in yeast and Xenopus laevis oocytes. OsHKT2;4 rescued the growth defect of a K(+) uptake-deficient yeast mutant. Green fluorescent protein-OsHKT2;4 is targeted to the plasma membrane in transgenic plant cells. OsHKT2;4-expressing oocytes exhibited strong K(+) permeability. Interestingly, however, K(+) influx in OsHKT2;4-expressing oocytes did not require stimulation by extracellular Na(+), in contrast to other class II HKT transporters. Furthermore, OsHKT2;4-mediated currents exhibited permeabilities to both Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) in the absence of competing K(+) ions. Comparative analyses of Ca(2+) and Mg(2+) permeabilities in several HKT transporters, including Arabidopsis thaliana HKT1;1 (AtHKT1;1), Triticum aestivum HKT2;1 (TaHKT2;1), OsHKT2;1, OsHKT2;2, and OsHKT2;4, revealed that only OsHKT2;4 and to a lesser degree TaHKT2;1 mediate Mg(2+) transport. Interestingly, cation competition analyses demonstrate that the selectivity of both of these class II HKT transporters for K(+) is dominant over divalent cations, suggesting that Mg(2+) and Ca(2+) transport via OsHKT2;4 may be small and would depend on competing K(+) concentrations in plants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although aquaporins have been known to transport hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) across cell membranes, the H(2)O(2)-regulated expression patterns and the permeability of every family member of the plasma membrane intrinsic protein (PIP) toward H(2)O(2) have not been determined. This study investigates the H(2)O(2)-regulated expression levels of all plasma membrane aquaporins of Arabidopsis thaliana (AtPIPs), and determines the permeability of every AtPIP for H(2)O(2) in yeast. Hydrogen peroxide treatment of Arabidopsis down-regulated the expression of AtPIP2 subfamily in roots but not in leaves, whereas the expression of AtPIP1 subfamily was not affected by H(2)O(2) treatment. The growth and survival of yeast cells that expressed AtPIP2;2, AtPIP2;4, AtPIP2;5, or AtPIP2;7 was reduced in the presence of H(2)O(2), while the growth of yeast cells expressing any other AtPIP family member was not affected by H(2)O(2). These results show that only certain isoforms of AtPIPs whose expression is regulated by H(2)O(2) treatment are permeable for H(2)O(2) in yeast cells, and suggest that the integrated regulation of aquaporin expression by H(2)O(2) and the capacity of individual aquaporin to transport H(2)O(2) are important for plant response to H(2)O(2).
No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Plant Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Water homeostasis is crucial to the growth and survival of plants under water-related stress. Plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs) have been shown to be primary channels mediating water uptake in plant cells. Here we report the water transport activity and mechanisms for the regulation of barley (Hordeum vulgare) PIP aquaporins. HvPIP2 but not HvPIP1 channels were found to show robust water transport activity when expressed alone in Xenopus laevis oocytes. However, the co-expression of HvPIP1 with HvPIP2 in oocytes resulted in significant increases in activity compared with the expression of HvPIP2 alone, suggesting the participation of HvPIP1 in water transport together with HvPIP2 presumably through heteromerization. Severe salinity stress (200 mM NaCl) significantly reduced root hydraulic conductivity (Lp(r)) and the accumulation of six of 10 HvPIP mRNAs. However, under relatively mild stress (100 mM NaCl), only a moderate reduction in Lp(r) with no significant difference in HvPIP mRNA levels was observed. Sorbitol-mediated osmotic stress equivalent to 100 and 200 mM NaCl induced nearly identical Lp(r) reductions in barley roots. Furthermore, the water transport activity in intact barley roots was suggested to require phosphorylation that is sensitive to a kinase inhibitor, staurosporine. HvPIP2s also showed water efflux activity in Xenopus oocytes, suggesting a potential ability to mediate water loss from cells under hypertonic conditions. Water transport via HvPIP aquaporins and the significance of reductions of Lp(r) in barley plants during salinity stress are discussed.
Preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Plant and Cell Physiology