Genome-wide identification and characterization of the aquaporin gene family in Medicago truncatula

  • Xueyang Min
  • Honglin Wu
  • Zhengshe Zhang
  • Xingyi Wei
  • Xiaoyu Jin
  • Boniface Ndayambaza
  • Yanrong WangEmail author
  • Wenxian LiuEmail author
Original Article


Aquaporins (AQPs), or major intrinsic proteins (MIPs), constitute a large and diverse family of protein channel transporter in plants. However, the information about AQPs family is still poorly understood in the model legume species Medicago truncatula. Here, 46 AQPs were identified and characterized. Based on the phylogenetic analysis, these genes were assigned to five subfamilies, specifically as 10 plasma membrane intrinsic proteins, 12 tonoplast intrinsic proteins, 18 NOD26-like intrinsic proteins, 4 small basic intrinsic proteins and 2 uncharacterized intrinsic proteins. The essential information of AQPs, such as subcellular localization, gene structure, chromosomal localization, evolutionary stress and functional residues were systematically analyzed. In addition, in silico analysis of the gene expression profiles showed certain of tissue specificity and responsiveness to drought/salt stresses in some AQPs genes. The qRT-PCR results showed that MtPIP1;5 and MtTIP1;3 were significantly up-regulated under both drought and salinity stress conditions, indicated their important roles in response to abiotic stresses. The results could provide valuable information for the further functional analysis of the AQPs in M. truncatula and related legume species.


Aquaporins Medicago truncatula Phylogenesis Conserved residues Gene expression patterns Abiotic stresses 





Plasma membrane intrinsic proteins


Tonoplast intrinsic proteins


NOD26-like intrinsic proteins


Small basic intrinsic proteins


Uncharacterized intrinsic proteins


Whole-genome duplication


Grand average of hydropathicity







This research was supported by the Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative ResearchTeam in University (IRT_17R50), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31502000).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Society for Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xueyang Min
    • 1
  • Honglin Wu
    • 1
  • Zhengshe Zhang
    • 1
  • Xingyi Wei
    • 1
  • Xiaoyu Jin
    • 1
  • Boniface Ndayambaza
    • 1
  • Yanrong Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wenxian Liu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, Key Laboratory of Grassland Livestock Industry Innovation, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Engineering Research Center of Grassland Industry, Ministry of Education, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and TechnologyLanzhou UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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