Aquaporins seem essential for the regulation of plant water status and expenses. Richter-110 is a Vitis hybrid (Vitis berlandieri × rupestris) reputed to be strongly drought-tolerant. Three irrigation treatments were established in Richter-110 plants growing outdoors defined by the resulting maximum stomatal conductance (g s), and ensuring water stress situations not severe enough as to stop photosynthesis and growth: well-watered plants (g s about 250 mmol H2O m−2 s−1), moderate water stress (g s about 150 mmol H2O m−2 s−1) and severe water stress (g s about 50 mmol H2O m−2 s−1). Plants under water stress were kept at constant water availability for 7 days to check for possible acclimation. Finally, plants were re-watered, and allowed to recover, for 3 days. Stomatal conductance, leaf water potential, xylem abscisic acid (ABA) content and root and stem hydraulic conductivity were determined. The relative amounts of expression of mRNA encoding seven putative aquaporins were determined in roots and leaves by RT-PCR. The decrease in stomatal conductance with moderate and severe water stress was associated with increasing ABA contents, but not with the leaf water potential and hydraulic conductivities, which remained unchanged during the entire experiment. Aquaporin gene expression varied depending on which aquaporin, water stress level and the plant organ. We suggest that aquaporin expression was responsive to water stress as part of the homeostasis, which resulted in constant leaf water potential and hydraulic conductivity.
Planta – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 20, 2007
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