The control of specificity in guard cell signal transduction

A M Hetherington, J E Gray, C P Leckie, M R McAinsh, C Ng, C Pical, A J Priestley, I Staxen, A A R Webb

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

31 Citations (Scopus)


Stomatal guard cells have proven to be an attractive system for dissecting the mechanisms of stimulus-response coupling in plants. In this review we focus on the intracellular signal transduction pathways by which extracellular signals bring about closure and opening of the stomatal pore. It is proposed that guard cell signal transduction pathways may be organized into functional arrays or signalling cassettes that contain elements common to a number of converging signalling pathways. The purpose of these signalling cassettes may be to funnel extracellular signals down onto the ion transporters chat control the fluxes of ions that underlie stomatal movements. Evidence is emerging that specificity in guard cell signalling may be, in part, encoded in complex spatio-temporal patterns of increases in the concentration of cytosolic-free calcium ([Ca2+](cyt)). It is suggested that oscillations in [Ca2+](cyt) may generate calcium signatures that encode information concerning the stimulus type and strength. New evidence is presented that suggests that these calcium signatures may integrate information when many stimuli are present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1489-1494
Number of pages6
JournalPhilosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1374
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 1998


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