Two aquaporins, sip1;1 and pip1;2, mediate water transport for pollen hydration in the arabidopsis pistil

Endang Ayu Windari, Mei Ando, Yohei Mizoguchi, Hiroto Shimada, Keima Ohira, Yasuaki Kagaya, Tetsuya Higashiyama, Seiji Takayama, Masao Watanabe, Keita Suwabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Pollination is the crucial initial step that brings together the male and female gametophytes, and occurs at the surface of the stigmatic papilla cell in Arabidopsis thaliana. After pollen recognition, pollen hydration is initiated as a second critical step to activate desiccated mature pollen grains for germination, and thus water transport from pistil to pollen is essential for this process. In this study, we report a novel aquaporin-mediated water transport process in the papilla cell as a control mechanism for pollen hydration. Coupled with a time-series imaging analysis of pollination and a reverse genetic analysis using T-DNA insertion Arabidopsis mutants, we found that two aquaporins, the ER-bound SIP1;1 and the plasma membrane-bound PIP1;2, are key players in water transport from papilla cell to pollen during pollination. In wild type plant, hydration speed reached its maximal value within 5 min after pollination, remained high until 10–15 min. In contrast, sip1;1 and pip1;2 mutants showed no rapid increase of hydration speed, but instead a moderate increase during ∼25 min after pollination. Pollen of sip1;1 and pip1;2 mutants had normal viability without any functional defects for pollination, indicating that decelerated pollen hydration is due to a functional defect on the female side in sip1;1 and pip1;2 mutants. In addition, sip1;1 pip1;2 double knockout mutant showed a similar impairment of pollen hydration to individual single mutants, suggesting that their coordinated regulation is critical for proper water transport, in terms of speed and amount, in the pistil to accomplish successful pollen hydration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-87
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Biotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Live imaging
  • Pollination
  • Time-lapse
  • Water channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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