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Aquaporins are main contributors to root hydraulic conductivity in pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L) R. Br.]

Abstract : Pearl millet is a key cereal for food security in arid and semi-arid regions but its yield is increasingly threatened by water stress. Physiological mechanisms relating to conservation of soil water or increased water use efficiency can alleviate that stress. Aquaporins (AQP) are water channels that mediate root water transport, thereby influencing plant hydraulics, transpiration and soil water conservation. However, AQP remain largely uncharacterized in pearl millet. Here, we studied AQP function in root water transport in two pearl millet lines contrasting for water use efficiency (WUE). We observed that these lines also contrasted for root hydraulic conductivity (Lpr) and AQP contribution to Lpr. The line with lower WUE showed significantly higher AQP contribution to Lpr. To investigate AQP isoforms contributing to Lpr, we developed genomic approaches to first identify the entire AQP family in pearl millet and secondly, characterize the plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIP) gene expression profile. We identified and annotated 33 AQP genes in pearl millet, among which ten encoded PIP isoforms. PgPIP1-3 and PgPIP1-4 were significantly more expressed in the line showing lower WUE, higher Lpr and higher AQP contribution to Lpr. Overall, our study suggests that the PIP1 AQP family are the main regulators of Lpr in pearl millet and may possibly be associated with mechanisms associated to whole plant water use. This study paves the way for further investigations on AQP functions in pearl millet hydraulics and adaptation to environmental stresses.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 2, 2020 - 5:19:42 PM
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Alexandre Grondin, Pablo Affortit, Christine Tranchant-Dubreuil, Carla de La Fuente-Cantó, Cédric Mariac, et al.. Aquaporins are main contributors to root hydraulic conductivity in pearl millet [Pennisetum glaucum (L) R. Br.]. PLoS ONE, 2020, ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0233481⟩. ⟨ird-02956421⟩



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