The BIG protein distinguishes the process of CO2-induced stomatal closure from the inhibition of stomatal opening by CO2

Jingjing He, Ruo Xi Zhang, Kai Peng, Cecilia Tagliavia, Siwen Li, Shaowu Xue, Amy Liu, Honghong Hu, Jingbo Zhang, Katharine E. Hubbard, Katrin Held, Martin R. Mcainsh, Julie E. Gray, Jörg Kudla, Julian I. Schroeder, Yun Kuan Liang*, Alistair M. Hetherington

*Corresponding author for this work

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

28 Citations (Scopus)
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We conducted an infrared thermal imaging-based genetic screen to identify Arabidopsis mutants displaying aberrant stomatal behavior in response to elevated concentrations of CO2. This approach resulted in the isolation of a novel allele of the Arabidopsis BIG locus (At3g02260) that we have called CO2 insensitive 1 (cis1). BIG mutants are compromised in elevated CO2-induced stomatal closure and bicarbonate activation of S-type anion channel currents. In contrast with the wild-type, they fail to exhibit reductions in stomatal density and index when grown in elevated CO2. However, like the wild-type, BIG mutants display inhibition of stomatal opening when exposed to elevated CO2. BIG mutants also display wild-type stomatal aperture responses to the closure-inducing stimulus abscisic acid (ABA). Our results indicate that BIG is a signaling component involved in the elevated CO2-mediated control of stomatal development. In the control of stomatal aperture by CO2, BIG is only required in elevated CO2-induced closure and not in the inhibition of stomatal opening by this environmental signal. These data show that, at the molecular level, the CO2-mediated inhibition of opening and promotion of stomatal closure signaling pathways are separable and BIG represents a distinguishing element in these two CO2-mediated responses.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalNew Phytologist
Early online date2 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jan 2018


  • Abscisic acid (ABA)
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • BIG gene
  • CO signaling
  • S-type anion channel
  • Stomatal function


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