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Involvement of a glucosinolate (sinigrin) in the regulation of water transport in Brassica oleracea grown under salt stress



Members of the Brassicaceae are known for their contents of nutrients and health-promoting phytochemicals, including glucosinolates. The concentrations of these chemopreventive compounds (glucosinolate-degradation products, the bioactive isothiocyanates) may be modified under salinity. In this work, the effect of the aliphatic glucosinolate sinigrin (2-propenyl-glucosinolate) on plant water balance, involving aquaporins, was explored under salt stress. For this purpose, water uptake and its transport through the plasma membrane were determined in plants after NaCl addition, when sinigrin was also supplied. We found higher hydraulic conductance (L0) and water permeability (Pf) and increased abundance of PIP2 aquaporins after the direct administration of sinigrin, showing the ability of the roots to promote cellular water transport across the plasma membrane in spite of the stress conditions imposed. The higher content of the allyl-isothiocyanate and the absence of sinigrin in the plant tissues suggest that the isothiocyanate is related to water balance; in fact, a direct effect of this nitro-sulphate compound on water uptake is proposed. This work provides the first evidence that the addition of a glucosinolate can regulate aquaporins and water transport: this effect and the mechanism(s) involved merit further investigation.