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Physiological performance of transplastomic tobacco plants overexpressing aquaporin AQP1 in chloroplast membranes

AuthorsFernández San Millán, Alicia ; Aranjuelo, Iker ; Douthe, Cyril; Nadal, Miquel; Ancín, María ; Larraya, Luis; Farrán, Inmaculada ; Flexas, Jaume ; Veramendi, Jon
Chloroplast envelope
CO2 permeability
Plastid transformation
Protein targeting
Issue Date10-Jul-2018
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationJournal of Experimental Botany 69(15): 3661–3673 (2018)
AbstractThe leaf mesophyll CO2 conductance and the concentration of CO2 within the chloroplast are major factors affecting photosynthetic performance. Previous studies have shown that the aquaporin NtAQP1 (which localizes to the plasma membrane and chloroplast inner envelope membrane) is involved in CO2 permeability in the chloroplast. Levels of NtAQP1 in plants genetically engineered to overexpress the protein correlated positively with leaf mesophyll CO2 conductance and photosynthetic rate. In these studies, the nuclear transformation method used led to changes in NtAQP1 levels in the plasma membrane and the chloroplast inner envelope membrane. In the present work, NtAQP1 levels were increased up to 16-fold in the chloroplast membranes alone by the overexpression of NtAQP1 from the plastid genome. Despite the high NtAQP1 levels achieved, transplastomic plants showed lower photosynthetic rates than wild-type plants. This result was associated with lower Rubisco maximum carboxylation rate and ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate regeneration. Transplastomic plants showed reduced mesophyll CO2 conductance but no changes in chloroplast CO2 concentration. The absence of differences in chloroplast CO2 concentration was associated with the lower CO2 fixation activity of the transplastomic plants. These findings suggest that non-functional pores of recombinant NtAQP1 may be produced in the chloroplast inner envelope membrane.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ery148
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