Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Understanding Aquaporin transport system in Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria)

Ashique Ahmed

Darrang College, Tezpur, Sonitpur, Assam, 784001, INDIA

Dr. Tilak Raj Sharma

National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI ), Sector 81 (Knowledge city), P. O. Manauli, SAS Nagar, Mohali, Punjab140306, INDIA


Aquaporins(AQPs), a class of channel forming proteins, facilitate transport of water and other solutes like boron, silicon, urea, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen peroxide across the biological membranes. Aquaporins are a fundamental part of the cellular transport system of most living organisms. In plants, AQPs are also known to be involved in important physiological processes like seed germination, stomatal movement, cell elongation, and reproductive growth. However, very little is known about evolution and the role of AQPs in Cucurbita lineage. In this regard, genome-wide identification and characterization of AQPs was performed in the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) genome. For genome availability and typical plant type, bottle gourd is considered as a model species for the Cucurbitaceae family. A total of 36 AQPs were identified in the bottle gourd genome. Based on the phylogenetic distribution and homology with known AQPs from Arabidopsis, Oryza sativa and Populus. AQPs were further classified into five subfamilies: fifteen plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs), eight tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs), ten nodulin26-like intrinsic proteins (NIPs), two small basic intrinsic proteins (SIPs) and one uncategorized intrinsic protein (XIPs). Furthermore, extensive analysis was performed to understand the pore morphology, exon-intron structure, subcellular localization of the AQPs. In addition, LsiTIP3-1, predicted to be involved in fruit growth and elongation, was cloned and will be evaluated for the Si uptake kinetics. Presently, bottle gourd plants are being raised to evaluate Si uptake. Considering the rapid development and highwater content in bottle gourd fruit, AQPs regulation in fruit will be studied. The present study represents the first in-depth characterization of AQPs and highlights the transport mechanism in bottle gourd.

Keywords or phrases: Aquaporins- Bottlegourd, Genomics, Cucurbitaceae, Phylogenetic analysis, Cloning

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