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Plant Physiol. 1997 Jul;114(3):827-834.

Increased Expression of Vacuolar Aquaporin and H+-ATPase Related to Motor Cell Function in Mimosa pudica L.

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Laboratoire de Physiologie et Biochimie Vegetales, Unite de Recherche Associee Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 574 (P.F.-L., N.F., J.-L.B.), and Laboratoirer des Echanges Membranaires, EA Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 1721 (E.M.), and Universite de Poitiers, 25 rue du Fbg St. Cyprien, F-86000 Poitiers, France.


Mature motor cells of Mimosa pudica that exhibit large and rapid turgor variations in response to external stimuli are characterized by two distinct types of vacuoles, one containing large amounts of tannins (tannin vacuole) and one without tannins (colloidal or aqueous vacuole). In these highly specialized cells we measured the abundance of two tonoplast proteins, a putative water-channel protein (aquaporin belonging to the [gamma]-TIPs [tonoplast intrinsic proteins]) and the catalytic A-subunit of H+-ATPase, using either high-pressure freezing or chemical fixation and immunolocalization. [gamma]-TIP aquaporin was detected almost exclusively in the tonoplast of the colloidal vacuole, and the H+-ATPase was also mainly localized in the membrane of the same vacuole. Cortex cells of young pulvini cannot change shape rapidly. Development of the pulvinus into a motor organ was accompanied by a more than 3-fold increase per length unit of membrane in the abundance of both aquaporin and H+-ATPase cross-reacting protein. These results indicate that facilitated water fluxes across the vacuolar membrane and energization of the vacuole play a central role in these motor cells.

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