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Plant Physiol. 1997 Oct;115(2):335-342.

Actin Filaments Modulate Both Stomatal Opening and Inward K+-Channel Activities in Guard Cells of Vicia faba L.

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  • 1Department of Life Science (J.-U.H., S.S., H.Y., J.K., Y.L.), School of Environmental Engineering (Y.L.), Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Korea.


Actin antagonists have previously been shown to alter responses of Commelina communis stomata to physiological stimuli, implicating actin filaments in the control of guard cell volume changes (M. Kim, P.K. Hepler, S.-O. Eun, K.S. Ha, Y. Lee [1995] Plant Physiol 109: 1077-1084). Since K+ channels in the guard cell play an important role in stomatal movements, we examined the possible regulation of K+-channel activities by the state of actin polymerization. Agents affecting actin polymerization altered light-induced stomatal opening and inward K+-channel activities measured by patch clamping in Vicia faba. Cytochalasin D, which induces depolymerization of actin filaments, promoted light-induced stomatal opening and potentiated the inward K+ current in guard cell protoplasts. Phalloidin, a stabilizer of filamentous actin, inhibited both light-induced stomatal opening and inward K+ current. Inward K+-channel activities in outside-out membrane patches showed responses to these agents that support results at the whole-cell current level, suggesting that cytochalasin D facilitates and phalloidin inhibits K+ influx in intact guard cells, thus resulting in enhancement and inhibition of stomatal opening, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first report that provides evidence that actin filaments may regulate an important physiological process by modulating the activities of ion channels in plant cells.

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