Arabidopsis plasma membrane intrinsic protein (AtPIP2;1) is implicated in a salinity conditional influence on seed germination

Phan Thi Thanh Hoai*, Jiaen Qiu, Michael Groszmann, Annamaria De Rosa, Stephen D. Tyerman, Caitlin S. Byrt*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Dynamic changes in aquaporin gene expression occur during seed germination. One example is the 30-fold increase in Arabidopsis thaliana PIP2;1 transcripts within 24 h of seed imbibition. To investigate whether AtPIP2;1 can influence seed germination wild-type Columbia-0, single (Atpip2;1) and double (Atpip2;1-Atpip2;2) loss-of-function mutants, along with transgenic 2x35S::AtPIP2;1 over-expressing (OE) lines and null-segregant controls, were examined. The various genotypes were germinated in control and saline (75 mM NaCl treatment) conditions and tested for germination efficiency, imbibed seed maximum cross sectional (MCS) area, imbibed seed mass, and seed Na+ and K+ content. Seed lacking functional AtPIP2;1 and/or AtPIP2;2 proteins or constitutively over-expressing AtPIP2;1, had delayed germination in saline conditions relative to wild-type and null-segregant seed, respectively. Exposure to saline germination conditions resulted in Atpip2;1 mutants having greater imbibed seed mass and less accumulated Na+ than wild-type, whereas lines over-expressing AtPIP2;1 had reduced imbibed seed mass and greater seed K+ content than null-segregant control seed. The results imply a role for AtPIP2;1 in seed germination processes, whether directly through its capacity for water and ion transport or H2O2 signalling, or indirectly through potentially triggering dynamic differential regulation of other aquaporins expressed during germination. Future research will aid in dissecting the aquaporin functions influencing germination and may lead to novel solutions for optimising germination in sub-optimal conditions, such as saline soils.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFunctional Plant Biology
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


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