Characterization of two tomato aquaporins and expression during the incompatible interaction of tomato with the plant parasite Cuscuta reflexa
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- Werner, M., Uehlein, N., Proksch, P. et al. Planta (2001) 213: 550. doi:10.1007/s004250100533
A subtractive suppression hybridization technique was used to identify genes that were induced during early phases of the interaction between Cuscuta reflexa, a phanerogamic plant parasite and the incompatible host tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). One of the identified genes encodes a new aquaporin (LeAqp2) from tomato. Its function was concluded from the swelling kinetics of LeAqp2-expressing Xenopus laevis oocytes under hypo-osmotic conditions. It was shown that, 6 h after attachment of the plant parasite, the corresponding mRNA accumulated in cells at and adjacent to the attachment site of Cuscuta, while artificial wounding did not modify steady-state LeAqp2-RNA levels. Expression of a close homologue named TRAMP (tomato-ripening-associated protein) was not affected by the plant-plant interaction. Levels of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) in tomato tissue after infection by Cuscuta have been found to increase at a similar stage of infection. In contrast to the different behavior with respect to infection, IAA induced both LeAqp2 and TRAMP expression. The observed pattern of LeAqp2 expression during the interaction at a stage where cell elongation occurs together with the water-channel activity in the heterologous expression system suggest a function for LeAqp2 during the tomato-Cuscuta interaction.