Aquaporin gene expression and physiological responses of Robinia pseudoacacia L. to the mycorrhizal fungus Rhizophagus irregularis and drought stress.Mycorrhiza. 2016 May; 26(4):311-23.M
The influence of arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) and drought stress on aquaporin (AQP) gene expression, water status, and photosynthesis was investigated in black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.). Seedlings were grown in potted soil inoculated without or with the AM fungus Rhizophagus irregularis, under well-watered and drought stress conditions. Six full-length AQP complementary DNAs (cDNAs) were isolated from Robinia pseudoacacia, named RpTIP1;1, RpTIP1;3, RpTIP2;1, RpPIP1;1, RpPIP1;3, and RpPIP2;1. A phylogenetic analysis of deduced amino acid sequences demonstrated that putative proteins coded by these RpAQP genes belong to the water channel protein family. Expression analysis revealed higher RpPIP expression in roots while RpTIP expression was higher in leaves, except for RpTIP1;3. AM symbiosis regulated host plant AQPs, and the expression of RpAQP genes in mycorrhizal plants depended on soil water condition and plant tissue. Positive effects were observed for plant physiological parameters in AM plants, which had higher dry mass and lower water saturation deficit and electrolyte leakage than non-AM plants. Rhizophagus irregularis inoculation also slightly increased leaf net photosynthetic rate and stomatal conductance under well-watered and drought stress conditions. These findings suggest that AM symbiosis can enhance the drought tolerance in Robinia pseudoacacia plants by regulating the expression of RpAQP genes, and by improving plant biomass, tissue water status, and leaf photosynthesis in host seedlings.