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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323944

Research Project: Sustainable Vineyard Production Systems

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Title: Aquaporins and root water uptake

Author
item Gambetta, Gregory - University Of Bordeaux
item Knipfer, Thorsten - University Of California
item Fricke, Wieland - University College Dublin
item Mcelrone, Andrew

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2016
Publication Date: 2/8/2017
Citation: Gambetta, G.A., Knipfer, T., Fricke, W., McElrone, A.J. 2017. Aquaporins and root water uptake. In: Chaumont, F., Tyerman, S.D., editors. Plant Aquaporins: From Transport to Signaling. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG. p.133-153.

Interpretive Summary: Water is one of the most critical resources limiting plant growth and crop productivity, and root water uptake is an important aspect of plant physiology governing plant water use and stress tolerance. Pathways of root water uptake are complex and are affected by root structure and physiological responses of the tissue. Water travels from the soil to the root xylem through the apoplast (i.e. cell wall space) and/or cell-to-cell, but hydraulic barriers in the apoplast (e.g. suberized structures in the endodermis) can force water to transverse cell membranes at some points along this path. Anytime water crosses a cell membrane its transport can be affected by the activity of membrane intrinsic water-channel proteins (aquaporins). We review how aquaporins play an important role in altering root water transport properties (hydraulic conductivity, Lp), and thus effecting water uptake, plant water status, nutrient acquisition, growth, and transpiration. Plants have the capacity to regulate aquaporin activity through a variety of mechanisms (e.g. pH, phosphorylation, internalization, oxidative gating), which may provide a rapid and reversible means of regulating root Lp. Changes in root Lp via the modulation of aquaporin activity is thought to contribute to root responses to a broad range of stresses including drought, salt, nutrient deficiency and cold. Given their important role in contributing to stress tolerance there is hope that aquaporins may serve as targets for improved crop performance in stressful environments.

Technical Abstract: Water is one of the most critical resources limiting plant growth and crop productivity, and root water uptake is an important aspect of plant physiology governing plant water use and stress tolerance. Pathways of root water uptake are complex and are affected by root structure and physiological responses of the tissue. Water travels from the soil to the root xylem through the apoplast (i.e. cell wall space) and/or cell-to-cell, but hydraulic barriers in the apoplast (e.g. suberized structures in the endodermis) can force water to transverse cell membranes at some points along this path. Anytime water crosses a cell membrane its transport can be affected by the activity of membrane intrinsic water-channel proteins (aquaporins). We review how aquaporins play an important role in altering root water transport properties (hydraulic conductivity, Lp), and thus effecting water uptake, plant water status, nutrient acquisition, growth, and transpiration. Plants have the capacity to regulate aquaporin activity through a variety of mechanisms (e.g. pH, phosphorylation, internalization, oxidative gating), which may provide a rapid and reversible means of regulating root Lp. Changes in root Lp via the modulation of aquaporin activity is thought to contribute to root responses to a broad range of stresses including drought, salt, nutrient deficiency and cold. Given their important role in contributing to stress tolerance there is hope that aquaporins may serve as targets for improved crop performance in stressful environments.