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Biochem Soc Trans. 2000;28(4):476-81.

Ca2+signalling in stomatal guard cells.

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Institute of Environmental and Natural Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, U.K.


Ca(2+) is a ubiquitous second messenger in the signal transduction pathway(s) by which stomatal guard cells respond to external stimuli. Increases in guard-cell cytosolic free Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](cyt)) have been observed in response to stimuli that cause both stomatal opening and closure. In addition, several important components of Ca(2+)-based signalling pathways have been identified in guard cells, including the cADP-ribose and phospholipase C/Ins(1, 4,5)P(3)-mediated Ca(2+)-mobilizing pathways. The central role of stimulus-induced increases in [Ca(2+)](cyt) in guard-cell signal transduction has been clearly demonstrated in experiments examining the effects of modulating increases in [Ca(2+)](cyt) on alterations in guard-cell turgor or the activity of ion channels that act as effectors in the guard-cell turgor response. In addition, the paradox that Ca(2+) is involved in the transduction of signals that result in opposite end responses (stomatal opening and closure) might be accounted for by the generation of stimulus-specific Ca(2+) signatures, such that increases in [Ca(2+)](cyt) exhibit unique spatial and temporal characteristics.

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