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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2012;63:591-614. doi: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-042811-105451. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Mechanisms of stomatal development.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA. lynn.pillitteri@wwu.edu

Abstract

The main route for CO(2) and water vapor exchange between a plant and the environment is through small pores called stomata. The accessibility of stomata and predictable division series that characterize their development provides an excellent system to address fundamental questions in biology. Stomatal cell-state transition and specification are regulated by a suite of transcription factors controlled by positional signaling via peptide ligands and transmembrane receptors. Downstream effectors include several members of the core cell-cycle genes. Environmentally induced signals are integrated into this essential developmental program to modulate stomatal development or function in response to changes in the abiotic environment. In addition, the recent identification of premitotic polarly localized proteins from both Arabidopsis and maize has laid a foundation for the future understanding of intrinsic cell polarity in plants. This review highlights the mechanisms of stomatal development through characterization of genes controlling cell-fate specification, cell polarity, cell division, and cell-cell communication during stomatal development and discusses the genetic framework linking these molecular processes with the correct spacing, density, and differentiation of stomata.

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