Stomatal action directly feeds back on leaf turgor: new insights into the regulation of the plant water status from non-invasive pressure probe measurements.

Universität Würzburg, Biozentrum, Julius-von-Sachs-Institut für Biowissenschaften, Julius-von-Sachs-Platz 2, 97082 Würzburg, Germany.
The Plant Journal (Impact Factor: 6.58). 03/2010; 62(6):1072-82. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04213.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Uptake of CO(2) by the leaf is associated with loss of water. Control of stomatal aperture by volume changes of guard cell pairs optimizes the efficiency of water use. Under water stress, the protein kinase OPEN STOMATA 1 (OST1) activates the guard-cell anion release channel SLOW ANION CHANNEL-ASSOCIATED 1 (SLAC1), and thereby triggers stomatal closure. Plants with mutated OST1 and SLAC1 are defective in guard-cell turgor regulation. To study the effect of stomatal movement on leaf turgor using intact leaves of Arabidopsis, we used a new pressure probe to monitor transpiration and turgor pressure simultaneously and non-invasively. This probe permits routine easy access to parameters related to water status and stomatal conductance under physiological conditions using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Long-term leaf turgor pressure recordings over several weeks showed a drop in turgor during the day and recovery at night. Thus pressure changes directly correlated with the degree of plant transpiration. Leaf turgor of wild-type plants responded to CO(2), light, humidity, ozone and abscisic acid (ABA) in a guard cell-specific manner. Pressure probe measurements of mutants lacking OST1 and SLAC1 function indicated impairment in stomatal responses to light and humidity. In contrast to wild-type plants, leaves from well-watered ost1 plants exposed to a dry atmosphere wilted after light-induced stomatal opening. Experiments with open stomata mutants indicated that the hydraulic conductance of leaf stomata is higher than that of the root-shoot continuum. Thus leaf turgor appears to rely to a large extent on the anion channel activity of autonomously regulated stomatal guard cells.

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