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Free Content Tobacco aquaporin NtAQP1 is involved in mesophyll conductance to CO2in vivo

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Summary

Leaf mesophyll conductance to CO2 (gm) has been recognized to be finite and variable, rapidly adapting to environmental conditions. The physiological basis for fast changes in gm is poorly understood, but current reports suggest the involvement of protein-facilitated CO2 diffusion across cell membranes. A good candidate for this could be the Nicotiana tabacum L. aquaporin NtAQP1, which was shown to increase membrane permeability to CO2 in Xenopus oocytes. The objective of the present work was to evaluate its effect on the in vivo mesophyll conductance to CO2, using plants either deficient in or overexpressing NtAQP1. Antisense plants deficient in NtAQP1 (AS) and NtAQP1 overexpressing tobacco plants (O) were compared with their respective wild-type (WT) genotypes (CAS and CO). Plants grown under optimum conditions showed different photosynthetic rates at saturating light, with a decrease of 13% in AS and an increase of 20% in O, compared with their respective controls. CO2 response curves of photosynthesis also showed significant differences among genotypes. However, in vitro analysis demonstrated that these differences could not be attributed to alterations in Rubisco activity or ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate content. Analyses of chlorophyll fluorescence and on-line 13C discrimination indicated that the observed differences in net photosynthesis (AN) among genotypes were due to different leaf mesophyll conductances to CO2, which was estimated to be 30% lower in AS and 20% higher in O compared with their respective WT. These results provide evidence for the in vivo involvement of aquaporin NtAQP1 in mesophyll conductance to CO2.
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Keywords: CO2 permeability; Nicotiana; aquaporins; leaf conductance; photosynthesis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratori de Fisiologia Vegetal, Grup de Biologia de les Plantes en Condicions Mediterrànies, Universitat de les Illes Balears. Carretera de Valldemossa Km 7.5, 07122 Palma de Mallorca, Balears, Spain, 2: Darmstadt University of Technology, Institute of Botany, Applied Plant Sciences. Schnittspahnstrasse 10, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany, and 3: Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2006

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