Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 118, Issue 3, pp 431–444 | Cite as

Cloning and characterisation of a pepper aquaporin, CaAQP, which reduces chilling stress in transgenic tobacco plants

  • Yan-Xu Yin
  • Wei-Li Guo
  • Ying-Li Zhang
  • Jiao-Jiao Ji
  • Huai-Juan Xiao
  • Fei Yan
  • Yan-Yan Zhao
  • Wen-Chao Zhu
  • Ru-Gang Chen
  • Wei-Guo Chai
  • Zhen-Hui Gong
Original Paper


Ubiquitous cell membrane proteins called aquaporins are members of major intrinsic proteins (MIPs), which control the specific transport of water molecules across cell membranes. A pepper aquaporin gene (CaAQP), which exhibits the structural features of tonoplast intrinsic proteins of the MIP subfamily, was isolated from the leaves of chilling-treated seedlings of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) cv. P70. Assays indicated high levels of expression in young seeds, green fruits and flower buds and low levels of expression in the stems, leaves and roots of pepper. The expression patterns were strongly and rapidly induced by HgCl2, low temperature, abscisic acid, fluridone and osmotic stresses. The responsiveness of pepper seedlings pretreated with abscisic acid at low temperatures demonstrated up-regulation of CaAQP by chilling, which is potentially involved in ABA signalling. Our results indicated that overexpression of CaAQP decreased chilling stress in transgenic plants, likely by increasing the stomatal aperture under stress, increasing the rate of membrane damage during the recovery stage, thereby affecting the intercellular CO2 concentration with lower stomatal conductance and transpiration rates. VIGS of CaAQP in pepper plants caused significant growth retardation. These results suggested that CaAQP played a crucial role in the plant response to abiotic stresses.


Abiotic stresses CaAQP Capsicum annuum L. Tonoplast intrinsic protein Transgenic tobacco 



Cauliflower mosaic virus


Intercellular CO2 concentrations


GlpF-like intrinsic proteins


Stomatal conductance


Hybrid intrinsic proteins


Root hydraulic conductance


Major intrinsic proteins


Nodulin26-like intrinsic proteins


L25 ribosomal protein


Plasma membrane intrinsic proteins


Net photosynthetic rate


Protein storage vacuoles


Rapid amplification of cDNA ends


Randomized complete block design


Relative electrolyte leakage


Relative water content


Salicylic acid


Small basic intrinsic proteins


Standard error


Transcript-derived fragments


Tonoplast intrinsic proteins


Transpiration rate


Transmembrane helices


Non-coding region


Uncharacterized X intrinsic proteins



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31201615, 31272163), “The Twelfth Five-Year” Plan of National Science and Technology in Rural Areas (No. 2011BAD12B03) and the Shaanxi Provincial Science and Technology Coordinating Innovative Engineering Project (No. 2012KTCL02-09). Language help was provided by Elsevier Webshop language services.

Supplementary material

11240_2014_495_MOESM1_ESM.doc (399 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 399 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan-Xu Yin
    • 1
  • Wei-Li Guo
    • 1
  • Ying-Li Zhang
    • 1
  • Jiao-Jiao Ji
    • 1
  • Huai-Juan Xiao
    • 1
  • Fei Yan
    • 1
  • Yan-Yan Zhao
    • 1
  • Wen-Chao Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ru-Gang Chen
    • 1
  • Wei-Guo Chai
    • 3
  • Zhen-Hui Gong
    • 1
  1. 1.College of HorticultureNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guizhou Academy of Agricultural SciencesGuiyangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute of VegetablesHangzhou Academy of Agricultural SciencesHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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