Genome-wide analysis and expression profiling of the Solanum tuberosum aquaporins.Plant Physiol Biochem. 2013 Dec; 73:392-404.PP
Aquaporins belongs to the major intrinsic proteins involved in the transcellular membrane transport of water and other small solutes. A comprehensive genome-wide search for the homologues of Solanum tuberosum major intrinsic protein (MIP) revealed 41 full-length potato aquaporin genes. All potato aquaporins are grouped into five subfamilies; plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs), tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs), NOD26-like intrinsic proteins (NIPs), small basic intrinsic proteins (SIPs) and x-intrinsic proteins (XIPs). Functional predictions based on the aromatic/arginine (ar/R) selectivity filters and Froger's positions showed a remarkable difference in substrate transport specificity among subfamilies. The expression pattern of potato aquaporins, examined by qPCR analysis, showed distinct expression profiles in various organs and tuber developmental stages. Furthermore, qPCR analysis of potato plantlets, subjected to various abiotic stresses revealed the marked effect of stresses on expression levels of aquaporins. Taken together, the expression profiles of aquaporins imply that aquaporins play important roles in plant growth and development, in addition to maintaining water homeostasis in response to environmental stresses.