The quantitative and spatial coordination of stomatal pores in the epidermis and airspaces in the underlying mesophyll tissue is vital for efficient gas exchange in the leaf. The mechanisms that determine the distribution of stomata in the epidermis have been studied extensively, but how this relates to the regulation of mesophyll airspace configuration is poorly understood. Recent studies have investigated how development is coordinated between these tissue layers. The evidence suggests that multiple mechanisms are likely to work concurrently to coordinate stomatal and mesophyll development for optimal leaf gas exchange, and that both genetic and physiological factors contribute to this regulation. Such advances in our understanding of leaf development have important implications for potential improvement of crop water use efficiency.
- gas exchange
- water use efficiency