Stomatal responses to carbon dioxide and light require abscisic acid catabolism in Arabidopsis

Mahsa Movahedi, Nicholas Zoulias, Stuart A. Casson, Peng Sun, Yun Kuan Liang, Alistair M. Hetherington, Julie E. Gray, Caspar C.C. Chater*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

6 Citations (Scopus)


In plants, stomata control water loss and CO 2 uptake. The aperture and density of stomatal pores, and hence the exchange of gases between the plant and the atmosphere, are controlled by internal factors such as the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) and external signals including light and CO 2. In this study, we examine the importance of ABA catabolism in the stomatal responses to CO 2 and light. By using the ABA 8′-hydroxylase-deficient Arabidopsis thaliana double mutant cyp707a1 cyp707a3, which is unable to break down and instead accumulates high levels of ABA, we reveal the importance of the control of ABA concentration in mediating stomatal responses to CO 2 and light. Intriguingly, our experiments suggest that endogenously produced ABA is unable to close stomata in the absence of CO 2. Furthermore, we show that when plants are grown in short day conditions ABA breakdown is required for the modulation of both elevated [CO 2 ]-induced stomatal closure and elevated [CO 2 ]-induced reductions in leaf stomatal density. ABA catabolism is also required for the stomatal density response to light intensity, and for the full range of light-induced stomatal opening, suggesting that ABA catabolism is critical for the integration of stomatal responses to a range of environmental stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20200036
JournalInterface Focus
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
uploaded as part of the electronic supplementary material. Authors’ contributions. M.M. and C.C.C.C. contributed equally to this work by designing and performing experiments and analysing data. N.Z. and S.A.C. performed reciprocal light and qRT-PCR experiments. P.S. and Y.-K.L. performed CaCl2 bioassays. M.M., C.C.C.C., J.E.G., N.Z., S.A.C. and A.M.H. wrote the manuscript and interpreted data. C.C.C.C., J.E.G. and A.M.H. conceived the project. All authors reviewed the manuscript. Competing interests. The authors declare no competing financial interests. Funding. A.M.H. and J.E.G. acknowledge the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Leverhulme Trust for supporting the work described in this paper. C.C.C.C. would like to acknowledge funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no. 700867. Acknowledgements. The authors gratefully thank Dr Eiji Nambara (University of Toronto) for the gift of the ABA catabolism mutants and Dr Annie Marion-Poll (INRA) for the gift of the ABA biosynthesis mutants.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s).

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • abscisic acid
  • carbon dioxide
  • CO 2
  • guard cells
  • light
  • stomata


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