Journal Article

Isolation and Expression of Two Aquaporin-Encoding Genes from the Marine Phanerogam <i>Posidonia oceanica</i>

Pierluigi Maestrini, Tommaso Giordani, Andrea Lunardi, Andrea Cavallini and Lucia Natali

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 45, issue 12, pages 1838-1847
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pch213
Isolation and Expression of Two Aquaporin-Encoding Genes from the Marine Phanerogam Posidonia oceanica

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Seagrasses such as Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile are marine phanerogams, widespread in various seas, where they form large prairies representing dynamic substrates exceeding the area of the sediment surface several times over and allowing settlement of epiphyte organisms. Studying mechanisms involved in water transport in marine plants, we isolated two aquaporin-encoding genes, PoPIP1;1 and PoTIP1;1, showing high similarity to plasma membrane- and tonoplast-intrinsic protein-encoding genes, respectively. PoPIP1;1 is unique in the genome of P. oceanica, while PoTIP1;1 belongs to an aquaporin subfamily of at least four members. PoPIP1;1 and PoTIP1;1 encode functional proteins, as indicated by expression experiments in Xenopus oocytes. Both genes are constitutively expressed in the leaves, with higher levels of transcripts in young than in differentiated leaf tissues. Variations of salt concentration in aquarium determined different PoPIP1;1 and PoTIP1;1 transcript accumulation, indicating the existence of adaptation mechanisms related to gene expression also in marine plants, i.e. adapted to very high salt concentrations. Hyposalinity induced lower levels of PIP1 transcripts, while hypersalinity determined more PIP1 transcripts than normal salinity. TIP1 transcripts increased in response to both hypo- and hypersalinity after 2 days of treatment and went back to control levels after 5 d.

Keywords: Keywords: Aquaporin — Marine plants — Posidonia oceanica — Salinity — Seagrass.; Abbreviations: MIPs, major intrinsic proteins; PIPs, plasma membrane intrinsic proteins; TIPs, tonoplast intrinsic proteins; RACE, rapid amplification of cDNA ends.

Journal Article.  6830 words.  Illustrated.

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

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