The grapevine NIP2;1 aquaporin is a silicon channel

Henrique Noronha, Angélica Silva, Namiki Mitani-Ueno, Carlos Conde, Farzana Sabir, Catarina Prista, Graça Soveral, Paul Isenring, Jian Feng Ma, Richard R. Bélanger, Hernâni Gerós

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Silicon (Si) supplementation has been shown to improve plant tolerance to different stresses, and its accumulation in the aerial organs is mediated by NIP2;1 aquaporins (Lsi channels) and Lsi2-type exporters in roots. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that grapevine expresses a functional NIP2;1 that accounts for root Si uptake and, eventually, Si accumulation in leaves. Own-rooted grapevine cuttings of the cultivar Vinhão accumulated >0.2% Si (DW) in leaves when irrigated with 1.5 mM Si for 1 month, while Si was undetected in control leaves. Real-time PCR showed that VvNIP2;1 was highly expressed in roots and in green berries. The transient transformation of tobacco leaf epidermal cells mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens confirmed VvNIP2;1 localization at the plasma membrane. Transport experiments in oocytes showed that VvNIP2;1 mediates Si and arsenite uptake, whereas permeability studies revealed that VvNIP2;1 expressed in yeast is unable to transport water and glycerol. Si supplementation to pigmented grape cultured cells (cv. Gamay Freáux) had no impact on the total phenolic and anthocyanin content, or on the growth rate and VvNIP2;1 expression. Long-term experiments should help determine the extent of Si uptake over time and whether grapevine can benefit from Si fertilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6789-6798
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of experimental botany
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2 2020


  • Aquaporin
  • Vitis vinifera
  • VvNIP21
  • cv Vinhão
  • grapevine
  • nodulin-26 like intrinsic protein
  • silicon transport
  • water transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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