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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2008;59:595-624. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.59.032607.092734.

Plant aquaporins: membrane channels with multiple integrated functions.

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Biochimie et Physiologie Mol├ęculaire des Plantes, SupAgro/INRA/CNRS/UM2 UMR 5004, F-34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France.


Aquaporins are channel proteins present in the plasma and intracellular membranes of plant cells, where they facilitate the transport of water and/or small neutral solutes (urea, boric acid, silicic acid) or gases (ammonia, carbon dioxide). Recent progress was made in understanding the molecular bases of aquaporin transport selectivity and gating. The present review examines how a wide range of selectivity profiles and regulation properties allows aquaporins to be integrated in numerous functions, throughout plant development, and during adaptations to variable living conditions. Although they play a central role in water relations of roots, leaves, seeds, and flowers, aquaporins have also been linked to plant mineral nutrition and carbon and nitrogen fixation.

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