Phytochrome B is required for light-mediated systemic control of stomatal development

Stuart A. Casson*, Alistair M. Hetherington

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Stomata are pores found on the surfaces of leaves, and they regulate gas exchange between the plant and the environment [1]. Stomatal development is highly plastic and is influenced by environmental signals [2]. Light stimulates stomatal development, and this response is mediated by plant photoreceptors [3-5], with the red-light photoreceptor phytochrome B (phyB) having a dominant role in white light [3]. Light also regulates stomatal development systemically, with the irradiance perceived by mature leaves modulating stomatal development in young leaves [6, 7]. Here, we show that phyB is required for this systemic response. Using a combination of tissue-specific expression and an inducible expression system in the loss-of-function phyB-9 mutant [8], we show that phyB expression in the stomatal lineage, mesophyll, and phloem is sufficient to restore wild-type stomatal development. Induction of PHYB in mature leaves also rescues stomatal development in young untreated leaves, whereas phyB mutants are defective in the systemic regulation of stomatal development. Our data show that phyB acts systemically to regulate cell fate decisions in the leaf epidermis. © 2014 The Authors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1216-1221
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2014


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