Expression of the Vicia faba VfPIP1 gene in Arabidopsis thaliana plants improves their drought resistance
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- Cui, XH., Hao, FS., Chen, H. et al. J Plant Res (2008) 121: 207. doi:10.1007/s10265-007-0130-z
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Plant aquaporins are believed to facilitate water transport across cell membranes. However, the relationship between aquaporins and drought resistance in plants remains unclear. VfPIP1, a putative aquaporin gene, was isolated from Vicia faba leaf epidermis, and its expression was induced by abscisic acid (ABA). Our results indicated that the VfPIP1 protein was localized in the plasma membrane, and its expression in V. faba was induced by 20% polyethylene glycol 6000. To further understand the function of VfPIP1, we obtained VfPIP1-expressing transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants under the control of the CaMV35S promoter. As compared to the wild-type control plants, the transgenic plants exhibited a faster growth rate, a lower transpiration rate, and greater drought tolerance. In addition, the stomata of the transgenic plants closed significantly faster than those of the control plants under ABA or dark treatment. These results suggest that VfPIP1 expression may improve drought resistance of the transgenic plants by promoting stomatal closure under drought stress.