The Nodulin 26-like intrinsic membrane protein OsNIP3;2 is involved in arsenite uptake by lateral roots in rice.

Previous studies have shown that the Nodulin 26-like intrinsic membrane protein (NIP) Lsi1 (OsNIP2;1) is involved in arsenite [As(III)] uptake in rice (Oryza sativa). However, the role of other rice NIPs in As(III) accumulation in planta remains unknown. In the present study, we investigated the role OsNIP3;2 in As(III) uptake in rice. When expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes, OsNIP3;2 showed a high transport activity for As(III). Quantitative real-time RT-PCR showed that the expression of OsNIP3;2 was suppressed by 5 µM As(III), but enhanced by 20 and 100 µM As(III). Transgenic rice plants expressing OsNIP3;2pro-GUS showed that the gene was predominantly expressed in the lateral roots and the stele region of the primary roots. Transient expression of OsNIP3;2:GFP fusion protein in rice protoplasts showed that the protein was localized in the plasma membrane. Knockout of OsNIP3;2 significantly decreased As concentration in the roots, but had little effect on shoot As concentration. Synchrotron microfocus X-ray fluorescence showed decreased As accumulation in the stele of the lateral roots in the mutants compared with wild-type. Our results indicate that OsNIP3;2 is involved in As(III) uptake by lateral roots, but its contribution to As accumulation in the shoots is limited.