Relationship between hexokinase and the aquaporin PIP1 in the regulation of photosynthesis and plant growth

Gilor Kelly, Nir Sade, Ziv Attia, Francesca Secchi, Maciej Zwieniecki, N. Michele Holbrook, Asher Levi, Victor Alchanatis, Menachem Moshelion, David Granot

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36 Scopus citations


Increased expression of the aquaporin NtAQP1, which is known to function as a plasmalemma channel for CO2 and water, increases the rate of both photosynthesis and transpiration. In contrast, increased expression of Arabidopsis hexokinase1 (AtHXK1), a dual-function enzyme that mediates sugar sensing, decreases the expression of photosynthetic genes and the rate of transpiration and inhibits growth. Here, we show that AtHXK1 also decreases root and stem hydraulic conductivity and leaf mesophyll CO2 conductance (gm). Due to their opposite effects on plant development and physiology, we examined the relationship between NtAQP1 and AtHXK1 at the whole-plant level using transgenic tomato plants expressing both genes simultaneously. NtAQP1 significantly improved growth and increased the transpiration rates of AtHXK1-expressing plants. Reciprocal grafting experiments indicated that this complementation occurs when both genes are expressed simultaneously in the shoot. Yet, NtAQP1 had only a marginal effect on the hydraulic conductivity of the double-transgenic plants, suggesting that the complementary effect of NtAQP1 is unrelated to shoot water transport. Rather, NtAQP1 significantly increased leaf mesophyll CO2 conductance and enhanced the rate of photosynthesis, suggesting that NtAQP1 facilitated the growth of the double-transgenic plants by enhancing mesophyll conductance of CO2.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere87888
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Feb 2014


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