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Plant Mol Biol. 2001 Jan;45(1):51-62.

The brassica MIP-MOD gene encodes a functional water channel that is expressed in the stigma epidermis.

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Department of Plant Biology,Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


In crucifers, the ability of the stigma to differentially modulate hydration of pollen grains, depending on whether the pollen is recognized to be compatible or incompatible, represents a crucial stage in pollination. Our recent analysis of the mod mutation of Brassica, which results in a breakdown of the self-incompatibility response, led to the isolation of a gene linked to the MOD locus which is expressed at low levels in mod mutants. The gene is predicted to encode a plasma membrane-localized aquaporin-like protein and has been designated MIP-MOD. We utilized reporter gene analysis to demonstrate that the MIP-MOD promoter is active in Brassica papillar cells as well as in some vegetative tissues. The encoded protein is also likely to be plasma membrane-localized based on the observation that all plasma membrane-intrinsic aquaporin-like proteins in Brassica leaves are enriched in plasma membrane fractions. The MIP-MOD protein results in a low but measurable enhancement in osmotic water permeability of Xenopus oocytes and hence represents a functional aquaporin. The results are consistent with the notion that MIP-MOD is involved in the regulation of water transport across the stigma epidermal cell membrane.

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