Journal Article

Aquaporins and Plant Leaf Movements

Norbert Uehlein and Ralf Kaldenhoff

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 101, issue 1, pages 1-4
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online November 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Aquaporins and Plant Leaf Movements

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Plant leaf movements can be mediated by specialized motor organs, the pulvini, or can be epinastic (i.e. based on different growth velocities of the adaxial and abaxial halves of the leaf). Both processes are associated with diurnally regulated increases in rates of membrane water transport, which in many cases has been shown to be facilitated by aquaporins. Rhythmic leaf movements are known from many plant species, but few papers deal with the involvement of aquaporins in such movements.


Many details of the architecture and function of pulvini were worked out by Ruth Satter and co-workers using Samanea saman as a model organism. More recently a contribution of aquaporins to pulvinar movement in Samanea was demonstrated. Another model plant to study pulvinus-mediated leaf movements is Mimosa pudica. The contribution of both plasma membrane- and tonoplast-localized aquaporins to the seismonastic leaf movements in Mimosa was analysed. In tobacco, as an example of epinastic leaf movement, it was shown that a PIP1 aquaporin family member is an important component of the leaf movement mechanism.

Keywords: Aquaporins; leaf movement; plasma membrane intrinsic proteins; epinastic; nyctinastic

Journal Article.  2724 words. 

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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