Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stomata development in plants unraveled

Date:
April 3, 2012
Source:
VIB
Summary:
Researchers have unraveled the action mechanism of the main plant hormone that regulates the development of stomata. This breakthrough has important implications for environmental research and for the protection of plants against disease and stress.

Gent researchers at VIB have unraveled the action mechanism of the main plant hormone that regulates the development of stomata. This breakthrough has important implications for environmental research and for the protection of plants against disease and stress.

Plants breathe through stomata

Plant leaves are protected from drying out by an airtight wax layer. They breathe and release water through microscopic pores called stomata. Every year 40% of atmospheric CO2 and twice the volume of water found in our atmosphere pass through these pores. This means that stomata are not only important for plant development but also for our climate!

It's no surprise then that these pores appear to be strictly regulated by plants. Stomata react extremely fast to internal plant signals and changes in the environment. When rain is scarce, for example, the pores will close to prevent the plant from wasting water while an automatic drought protection mechanism is triggered into action. Brassinosteroids, a class of plant hormones, play an important role in determining the number of leaf stomata, but the underlying mechanism was until now not well understood.

Brassinosteroids are crucial plant hormones

Controlling multiple aspects of plant growth and development, brassinosteroids are omnipresent in the plant kingdom. The hormones have a positive effect on the quality and productivity of crops and increase their resistance to stress and disease.

Scientist Jenny Russinova and her team, who are associated with both VIB and Ghent University, study the action mechanisms of brassinosteroids. A recent breakthrough led them to conclude that the latter also affect the number of stomata. Plants without the hormone develop many fewer stomata. The opposite is also true: more brassinosteroids dramatically increase the number of pores.

Scientific breakthrough: action mechanism deciphered

The VIB scientists are the first to unravel the action mechanism. They were able to determine how the various agents work together to form new stomata. Their experiments showed that brassinosteroids exert direct action on speechless, the transcription factor that initiates the development of stomata. Their action allows for a multitude of different interactions. This exemplifies the strictly orchestrated regulation of stomata development, which is able to react very quickly to environmental changes or internal plant signals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gustavo E. Gudesblat, Joanna Schneider-Pizoń, Camilla Betti, Juliane Mayerhofer, Isabelle Vanhoutte, Walter van Dongen, Sjef Boeren, Miroslava Zhiponova, Sacco de Vries, Claudia Jonak, Eugenia Russinova. SPEECHLESS integrates brassinosteroid and stomata signalling pathways. Nature Cell Biology, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/ncb2471

Cite This Page:

VIB. "Stomata development in plants unraveled." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120403085743.htm>.
VIB. (2012, April 3). Stomata development in plants unraveled. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120403085743.htm
VIB. "Stomata development in plants unraveled." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120403085743.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) — New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) — A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Spinosaurus Could Be First Semi-Aquatic Dinosaur

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) — New research has shown that the Spinosaurus, the largest carnivorous dinosaur, might have been just as well suited for life in the water as on land. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins