, Volume 27, Issue 9, pp 1541-1550
Date: 17 Jun 2008

Identification of grapevine aquaporins and expression analysis in developing berries

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Aquaporins are membrane water channels that play critical roles in controlling the water content of cells and tissues. In this work, nine full-length cDNAs encoding putative aquaporins were isolated from grape berry cDNA libraries. A phylogenetic analysis conducted with 28 aquaporin genes identified in the grapevine genome and previously characterized aquaporins from Arabidopsis indicates that three cDNAs encode putative tonoplast aquaporins (TIPs) whereas six cDNAs belong to the plasma membrane aquaporin subfamily (PIPs). Specific probes designed on the 3′ untranslated regions of each cDNA were used for the preparation of cDNA macroarray filters and in situ hybridization experiments. Macroarray data indicate that expression levels of most TIP and PIP genes depend on grape berry developmental stages and point out to a global decrease of aquaporin gene expression during berry ripening. In young berries, high expression of aquaporin genes was preferentially observed in dividing and elongating cells and in cells involved in water and solutes transport. Taken together, the data provided in this paper indicate that aquaporins are implicated in various physiological aspects of grape berry development.

This paper is dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague Pr. Saïd Hamdi. This work was supported by grants from the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB).
Communicated by L. Jouanin.