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Plant Cell. 2004 Mar;16(3):596-615. Epub 2004 Feb 18.

Microarray expression analyses of Arabidopsis guard cells and isolation of a recessive abscisic acid hypersensitive protein phosphatase 2C mutant.

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Cell and Developmental Biology Section, Division of Biological Sciences, and Center for Molecular Genetics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0116, USA.

Erratum in

  • Plant Cell. 2005 Apr;17(4):1330-3.


Oligomer-based DNA Affymetrix GeneChips representing about one-third of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genes were used to profile global gene expression in a single cell type, guard cells, identifying 1309 guard cell-expressed genes. Highly pure preparations of guard cells and mesophyll cells were isolated in the presence of transcription inhibitors that prevented induction of stress-inducible genes during cell isolation procedures. Guard cell expression profiles were compared with those of mesophyll cells, resulting in identification of 64 transcripts expressed preferentially in guard cells. Many large gene families and gene duplications are known to exist in the Arabidopsis genome, giving rise to redundancies that greatly hamper conventional genetic and functional genomic analyses. The presented genomic scale analysis identifies redundant expression of specific isoforms belonging to large gene families at the single cell level, which provides a powerful tool for functional genomic characterization of the many signaling pathways that function in guard cells. Reverse transcription-PCR of 29 genes confirmed the reliability of GeneChip results. Statistical analyses of promoter regions of abscisic acid (ABA)-regulated genes reveal an overrepresented ABA responsive motif, which is the known ABA response element. Interestingly, expression profiling reveals ABA modulation of many known guard cell ABA signaling components at the transcript level. We further identified a highly ABA-induced protein phosphatase 2C transcript, AtP2C-HA, in guard cells. A T-DNA disruption mutation in AtP2C-HA confers ABA-hypersensitive regulation of stomatal closing and seed germination. The presented data provide a basis for cell type-specific genomic scale analyses of gene function.

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