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Plant Cell. 2008 May;20(5):1381-9. doi: 10.1105/tpc.108.059311. Epub 2008 May 30.

A transporter regulating silicon distribution in rice shoots.

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  • 1Research Institute for Bioresources, Okayama University, Kurashiki 710-0046, Japan.


Rice (Oryza sativa) accumulates very high concentrations of silicon (Si) in the shoots, and the deposition of Si as amorphous silica helps plants to overcome biotic and abiotic stresses. Here, we describe a transporter, Lsi6, which is involved in the distribution of Si in the shoots. Lsi6 belongs to the nodulin-26 intrinsic protein III subgroup of aquaporins and is permeable to silicic acid. Lsi6 is expressed in the leaf sheath and leaf blades as well as in the root tips. Cellular localization studies revealed that Lsi6 is found in the xylem parenchyma cells of the leaf sheath and leaf blades. Moreover, Lsi6 showed polar localization at the side facing toward the vessel. Knockdown of Lsi6 did not affect the uptake of Si by the roots but resulted in disordered deposition of silica in the shoots and increased excretion of Si in the guttation fluid. These results indicate that Lsi6 is a transporter responsible for the transport of Si out of the xylem and subsequently affects the distribution of Si in the leaf.

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