Seeing 'cool' and 'hot' - Infrared thermography as a tool for non-invasive, high-throughput screening of Arabidopsis guard cell signalling mutants

Department of Biological Sciences, Institute of Environmental and Natural Sciences, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK.
Journal of Experimental Botany (Impact Factor: 5.53). 06/2004; 55(400):1187-93. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erh135
Source: PubMed


The use of Arabidopsis mutants defective in abscisic acid (ABA) perception has been instrumental in the understanding of stomatal function, in particular,
ABA signalling in guard cells. The considerable attention devoted to ABA signalling in guard cells is due in part to (1) the
fundamental role of ABA in drought stress and (2) the use of a screening protocol based on the sensitivity of seed germination
to ABA. Such a screen has facilitated the isolation of ABA signalling mutants with genetic lesions that exert pleiotropic
effects at the whole plant level. As such, there is a requirement for new approaches to complement the seed germination screen.
The recent advances made in the use of infrared thermography as a non‐invasive, high‐throughput tool are reviewed here and
the versatility of this technique for screening Arabidopsis defective in stomatal regulation is highlighted.

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    • "DIT allows the visualization of differences in surface temperature by detecting emitted infrared radiation and provides non-destructive monitoring and presymptomatic diagnosis of abiotic stress and early disease detection. The method has been used to study spatial and temporal variation in stomatal conductance [19e21], characterize water status [22] [23], dynamically analyze water stress under different irrigation treatments [24], screen mutants for stomatal regulation [25], and assess plantepathogen interactions [26e28]. "
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    • "DIT is used for non-destructive monitoring and presymptomatic diagnosis of abiotic stress or early disease detection. It has been used to study spatial and temporal variation in stomatal conductance [6], characterize water status [7] [8], conduct dynamic analysis of water stress under different irrigation methods [9] [10], observe ice nucleation and propagation in plants [11e13], screen for stomata regulation mutants [14] [15], and assess plantepathogen interactions [5] [16] [17]. Plant infection may be detected only when visible symptoms appear or when pathogens have been identified, this is often too late to prevent disease. "
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    • "Jones et al. (1999) also reported that stomatal conductance calculated from thermographic measurements correlated well with estimates obtained from a diffusion porometer. Recently, infrared thermography was successfully used as an effective non-contact, high throughput tool for screening large populations of Arabidopsis to identify mutants exhibiting leaf temperatures that differed from wild-type plants (Merlot et al., 2002; Wang et al., 2003; Song et al., 2006; Zhang et al., 2008). Verslues et al. (2006) and Price et al. (2002) reported that the use of infrared thermal imaging to study energy balance and stomatal function provided the opportunity to advance a more holistic understanding of physical and biochemical processes related to water use and drought tolerance. "
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