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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(2), 262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20020262

Investigation of the AQP Family in Soybean and the Promoter Activity of TIP2;6 in Heat Stress and Hormone Responses

1
Institute of Vegetables, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310021, China
2
Food Safety Key Lab of Zhejiang Province, The School of Food Science and Biotechnology, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou 310018, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ion Transporters and Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants)
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Abstract

Aquaporins (AQPs) are one diverse family of membrane channel proteins that play crucial regulatory roles in plant stress physiology. However, the heat stress responsiveness of AQP genes in soybean remains poorly understood. In this study, 75 non-redundant AQP encoding genes were identified in soybean. Multiple sequence alignments showed that all GmAQP proteins possessed the conserved regions, which contained 6 trans-membrane domains (TM1 to TM6). Different GmAQP members consisted of distinct Asn-Pro-Ala (NPA) motifs, aromatic/arginine (ar/R) selectivity filters and Froger’s positions (FPs). Phylogenetic analyses distinguished five sub-families within these GmAQPs: 24 GmPIPs, 24 GmTIPs, 17 GmNIPs, 8 GmSIPs, and 2 GmXIPs. Promoter cis-acting elements analyses revealed that distinct number and composition of heat stress and hormone responsive elements existed in different promoter regions of GmAQPs. QRT-PCR assays demonstrated that 12 candidate GmAQPs with relatively extensive expression in various tissues or high expression levels in root or leaf exhibited different expression changes under heat stress and hormone cues (abscisic acid (ABA), l-aminocyclopropane-l-carboxylic acid (ACC), salicylic acid (SA) and methyl jasmonate (MeJA)). Furthermore, the promoter activity of one previously functionally unknown AQP gene-GmTIP2;6 was investigated in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. The beta-glucuronidase (GUS) activity driven by the promoter of GmTIP2;6 was strongly induced in the heat- and ACC-treated transgenic plants and tended to be accumulated in the hypocotyls, vascular bundles, and leaf trichomes. These results will contribute to uncovering the potential functions and molecular mechanisms of soybean GmAQPs in mediating heat stress and hormone signal responses. View Full-Text
Keywords: soybean; aquaporin; heat stress; hormone cues; transcript expression; promoter; activated GUS; GmTIP2;6 soybean; aquaporin; heat stress; hormone cues; transcript expression; promoter; activated GUS; GmTIP2;6
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Feng, Z.-J.; Liu, N.; Zhang, G.-W.; Niu, F.-G.; Xu, S.-C.; Gong, Y.-M. Investigation of the AQP Family in Soybean and the Promoter Activity of TIP2;6 in Heat Stress and Hormone Responses. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 262.

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