In crucifers, the ability of the stigma to differentially modulate hydration of pollen grains, depending on whether the pollen is recognized to be compatible or incompatible, represents a crucial stage in pollination. Our recent analysis of the mod mutation of Brassica, which results in a breakdown of the self-incompatibility response, led to the isolation of a gene linked to the MOD locus which is expressed at low levels in mod mutants. The gene is predicted to encode a plasma membrane-localized aquaporin-like protein and has been designated MIP-MOD. We utilized reporter gene analysis to demonstrate that the MIP-MOD promoter is active in Brassica papillar cells as well as in some vegetative tissues. The encoded protein is also likely to be plasma membrane-localized based on the observation that all plasma membrane-intrinsic aquaporin-like proteins in Brassica leaves are enriched in plasma membrane fractions. The MIP-MOD protein results in a low but measurable enhancement in osmotic water permeability of Xenopus oocytes and hence represents a functional aquaporin. The results are consistent with the notion that MIP-MOD is involved in the regulation of water transport across the stigma epidermal cell membrane.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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