The Stomatal Response to Reduced Relative Humidity Requires Guard Cell-Autonomous ABA Synthesis

Hubert Bauer, Peter Ache, Silke Lautner, Joerg Fromm, Wolfram Hartung, Khaled A. S. Al-Rasheid, Sophia Sonnewald, Uwe Sonnewald, Susanne Kneitz, Nicole Lachmann, Ralf R. Mendel, Florian Bittner, Alistair M. Hetherington*, Rainer Hedrich, Alistair M Hetherington

*Corresponding author for this work

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

289 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stomata are pores on the leaf surface, bounded by two guard cells, which control the uptake of CO2 for photosynthesis and the concomitant loss of water vapor. In 1898, Francis Darwin [1] showed that stomata close in response to reduced atmospheric relative humidity (rh); however, our understanding of the signaling pathway responsible for coupling changes in rh to alterations in stomatal aperture is fragmentary. The results presented here highlight the primacy of abscisic acid (ABA) in the stomatal response to drying air. We show that guard cells possess the entire ABA biosynthesis pathway and that it appears upregulated by positive feedback by ABA. When wild-type Arabidopsis and the ABA-deficient mutant aba3-1 were exposed to reductions in rh, the aba3-1 mutant wilted, whereas the wild-type did not. However, when aba3-1 plants, in which ABA synthesis had been specifically rescued in guard cells, were challenged with dry air, they did not wilt. These data indicate that guard cell-autonomous ABA synthesis is required for and is sufficient for stomatal closure in response to low rh. Guard cell-autonomous ABA synthesis allows the plant to tailor leaf gas exchange exquisitely to suit the prevailing environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • GENES
  • ACTIVATION
  • ALDEHYDE OXIDASE
  • PROMOTER
  • ABSCISIC-ACID BIOSYNTHESIS
  • MOLYBDENUM COFACTOR SULFURASE
  • AAO3
  • ARABIDOPSIS-THALIANA
  • LEAVES
  • INSIGHTS

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