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Identification of the aquaporin gene family in Cannabis sativa and evidence for the accumulation of silicon in its tissues

Cannabis sativa is an economically important crop providing bast fibres for the textile and biocomposite sector. Length is a fundamental characteristic determining the properties of bast fibres. Aquaporins, channel-forming proteins facilitating the passage of water, urea, as well as elements such as boron and silicon, are known to play a role in the control of fibre length in other species, like cotton. By mining the available genome, we here identify, for the first time, the aquaporin gene…

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Cannabis sativa is an economically important crop providing bast fibres for the textile and biocomposite sector. Length is a fundamental characteristic determining the properties of bast fibres. Aquaporins, channel-forming proteins facilitating the passage of water, urea, as well as elements such as boron and silicon, are known to play a role in the control of fibre length in other species, like cotton. By mining the available genome, we here identify, for the first time, the aquaporin gene family of C. sativa. The analysis of published RNA-Seq data and targeted qPCR on a textile variety reveal an organ-specific expression of aquaporin genes. Computational analyses, including homology-based search, phylogeny and protein modelling, identify two NOD26-like intrinsic proteins harbouring the Gly-Ser-Gly-Arg (GSGR) aromatic/Arg selectivity filter and 108 amino acid NPA (Asn-Pro-Ala) spacing, features reported to be associated with silicon permeability. SIMS nano-analysis and silica extraction coupled to fluorescence microscopy performed on hemp plantlets reveal the presence of silicon in the bast fibres of the hypocotyl and in leaves. The accumulation of silica in the distal cell walls of bast fibres and in the basal cells of leaf trichomes is indicative of a mechanical role.

Keywords: Aquaporin; Biogenic silica; Cannabis sativa; NanoSIMS; RT-qPCR; Silicon.

Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31481224/?utm_source=no_user_agent&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pubmed-2&utm_content=18gXB4q-CV5o0kQDSCt3HqwNcsXbn1PxqekJlWJaIbT8zAG16G&fc=20200804213200&ff=20200812190821&v=2.11.5

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