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Plant Cell Rep. 2011 Jan;30(1):27-36. doi: 10.1007/s00299-010-0937-2. Epub 2010 Oct 26.

Overexpression of the Arabidopsis α-expansin gene AtEXPA1 accelerates stomatal opening by decreasing the volumetric elastic modulus.

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State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, People's Republic of China.


Guard cell walls of stomata are highly specialized in plants. Previous research focused on the structure and anatomy of guard cell walls, but little is known about guard cell regulation during stomata movement. In this work, we investigate the possible biological role of the Arabidopsis expansin gene AtEXPA1 in stomatal opening. The AtEXPA1 promoter drove the expression of the GUS reporter gene specifically in guard cells. Light-induced stomatal opening was accelerated in 35S::AtEXPA1 lines, whereas the anti-AtEXPA1 antibody decelerated light-induced stomatal opening. The inhibition of the anti-AtEXPA1 antibody on stomatal opening was largely dependent on the environmental pH. The volumetric elastic modulus (ε) was measured as an indicator of changes in the cell wall. The ε value of guard cells in 35S::AtEXPA1 lines was smaller than in the wild types. The putative role of AtEXPA1 as controller of stomatal opening rate and its regulation are discussed.

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