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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Jan;85(2):436-40.

Red light stimulates an electrogenic proton pump in Vicia guard cell protoplasts.

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Department of Physiology, Ahmanson Laboratory of Neurobiology, Jerry Lewis Neuromuscular Research Center, Los Angeles, CA.


Stomatal opening in response to light has a component that matches the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll; however, the intervening sensory transduction steps are not well understood. To study this process, we illuminated Vicia faba guard cell protoplasts with red light and simultaneously recorded current flow across the plasma membrane, utilizing the patch clamp technique in the whole cell configuration. We report evidence that under voltage clamp conditions, red light (1 mmol of photons.m-2.S-1) stimulated an outward current. This response required ATP (2.5 mM) and orthophosphate (1 mM) at the cytoplasmic side of the membrane. Both red-light-stimulated currents and currents activated in the dark by the proton pump agonist fusicoccin (10 microM) were abolished by the protonophore carbonylcyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone at 10 microM, indicating that these responses were carried by protons. Pump currents were inhibited by orthovanadate applied to the cytoplasmic side of the membrane (50% inhibition at 3.5 microM), implicating a H+ -ATPase. Elimination of the current by the photosynthetic inhibitor 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea, in the presence of saturating concentrations of ATP, pointed to a requirement for photosynthetically active chloroplasts. We conclude that red light stimulates an electrogenic proton pump at the plasmalemma of Vicia guard cells and that chloroplasts modulate this response.

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