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Ectopic overexpression of a novel Glycine soja stress-induced plasma membrane intrinsic protein increases sensitivity to salt and dehydration in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants


Plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs) belong to the aquaporin family and facilitate water movement across plasma membranes. Existing data indicate that PIP genes are associated with the abilities of plants to tolerate certain stress conditions. A review of our Glycine soja expressed sequence tag (EST) dataset revealed that abiotic stress stimulated expression of a PIP, herein designated as GsPIP2;1 (GenBank_Accn: FJ825766). To understand the roles of this PIP in stress tolerance, we generated a coding sequence for GsPIP2;1 by in silico elongation and cloned the cDNA by 5′-RACE. Semiquantitative RT-PCR showed that GsPIP2;1 expression was stimulated in G. soja leaves by cold, salt, or dehydration stress, whereas the same stresses suppressed GsPIP2;1 expression in the roots. Transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants overexpressing GsPIP2;1 grew normally under unstressed and cold conditions, but exhibited depressed tolerance to salt and dehydration stresses. Moreover, greater changes in water potential were detected in the transgenic A. thaliana shoots, implying that GsPIP2;1 may negatively impact stress tolerance by regulating water potential. These results, deviating from those obtained in previous reports, provide new insights into the relationship between PIPs and abiotic stress tolerance in plants.

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Coding sequence


Expressed sequence tag


Green fluorescent protein


Arabidopsis plants overexpressing GsPIP21


Major intrinsic protein


Murashige and Skoog basal salt mixture

P35S :

CaMV35S promoter


Polyethylene glycol


Plasma membrane intrinsic protein


Rapid amplification of cDNA ends


Tonoplast intrinsic protein


Wild type


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This project was supported by the Modern Agricultural Industry Technology System of Sugar Beet (CARS-210101-06), the Science Foundation of Heilongjiang University for Young Scientists (QL201124), the General Program of the Education Department of Heilongjiang Province (12531488), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30570990), the National Key Basic Research Special Funds of China (2003CCA03500), the Special Program of the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (2007AA10Z193), the National Major Project for the Cultivation of Transgenic Crops (20082x08004), the Key Research Plan of Heilongjiang Province (GA06B103), and the Innovation Research Group of NEAU (CXT004).

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Correspondence to Yanming Zhu.

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The corresponding author is not a member of the Botanical Society of Japan. Subject area that is most relevant to the work(5) Physiology/Biochemistry/Molecular and Cellular Biology.

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Wang, X., Cai, H., Li, Y. et al. Ectopic overexpression of a novel Glycine soja stress-induced plasma membrane intrinsic protein increases sensitivity to salt and dehydration in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants. J Plant Res 128, 103–113 (2015).

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  • Abiotic stress tolerance
  • Aquaporin (AQP)
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Glycine soja
  • Major intrinsic protein (MIP)
  • Plasma membrane intrinsic protein (PIP)