Journal Article

The Role of Aquaporin RWC3 in Drought Avoidance in Rice

Hong-Li Lian, Xin Yu, Qin Ye, Xiao-Song Ding, Yoshichika Kitagawa, Sang-Soo Kwak, Wei-Ai Su and Zhang-Cheng Tang

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 45, issue 4, pages 481-489
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online April 2004 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
The Role of Aquaporin RWC3 in Drought Avoidance in Rice

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Although the discovery of aquaporins in plants has resulted in a paradigm shift in the understanding of plant water relations, the relationship between aquaporins and drought resistance still remains elusive. From an agronomic viewpoint, upland rice is traditionally considered as showing drought avoidance. In the investigation of different morphological and physiological responses of upland rice (Oryza sativa L. spp indica cv. Zhonghan 3) and lowland rice (O. sativa L. spp japonica cv. Xiushui 63) to water deficit, we observed young leaf rolling and the remarkable decline of cumulative transpiration in the upland rice. The expression of water channel protein RWC3 mRNA was increased in upland rice at the early response (up to 4 h) to the 20% polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000 treatment, whereas there was no significant expression changes in lowland rice. Protein levels were increased in upland rice and decreased in lowland rice at 10 h after the water deficit. The up-regulation of RWC3 in upland rice fits well with the knowledge that upland rice adopts the mechanism of drought avoidance. The physiological significance of this RWC3 up-regulation was then explored with the over-expression of RWC3 in transgenic lowland rice (O. sativa L. spp japonica cv. Zhonghua 11) controlled by a stress-inducible SWPA2 promoter. Compared to the wild-type plant, the transgenic lowland rice exhibited higher root osmotic hydraulic conductivity (Lp), leaf water potential and relative cumulative transpiration at the end of 10 h PEG treatment. These results indicated that RWC3 probably played a role in drought avoidance in rice.

Keywords: Keywords: Aquaporin — Drought avoidance — Hydraulic conductivity — Rice (Oryza sativa).; Abbreviations: Ar, surface area of root; Jv, water flow; Lp, hydraulic conductivity; MIP, major intrinsic protein; Osmin, osmotic pressure in oocyte; Osmout, osmotic pressure out of oocyte; PEG, polyethylene glycol; Pf, osmotic permeability coefficient; PIP, plasma membrane intrinsic protein; S0, initial oocyte surface area; UBI, ubiquitin; V0, initial oocyte volume; Vw, molar volume of water; IIb, osmotic pressure of bath medium; Πs, osmotic pressure of sap.

Journal Article.  6118 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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