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New Phytol. 2018 Apr;218(1):232-241. doi: 10.1111/nph.14957. Epub 2018 Jan 2.

The BIG protein distinguishes the process of CO2 -induced stomatal closure from the inhibition of stomatal opening by CO2.

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State Key Laboratory of Hybrid Rice, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan, 430072, China.
School of Biological Sciences, Life Sciences Building, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol, BS8 1TQ, UK.
Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ, UK.
College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, 430070, China.
Cell and Developmental Biology Section, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA, 92093, USA.
School of Environmental Sciences, University of Hull, Hull, HU6 7RX, UK.
Institut für Biologie und Biotechnologie der Pflanzen, Universität Münster, Schlossplatz 7, Münster, 48149, Germany.
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Firth Court, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.


We conducted an infrared thermal imaging-based genetic screen to identify Arabidopsis mutants displaying aberrant stomatal behavior in response to elevated concentrations of CO2 . This approach resulted in the isolation of a novel allele of the Arabidopsis BIG locus (At3g02260) that we have called CO2 insensitive 1 (cis1). BIG mutants are compromised in elevated CO2 -induced stomatal closure and bicarbonate activation of S-type anion channel currents. In contrast with the wild-type, they fail to exhibit reductions in stomatal density and index when grown in elevated CO2 . However, like the wild-type, BIG mutants display inhibition of stomatal opening when exposed to elevated CO2 . BIG mutants also display wild-type stomatal aperture responses to the closure-inducing stimulus abscisic acid (ABA). Our results indicate that BIG is a signaling component involved in the elevated CO2 -mediated control of stomatal development. In the control of stomatal aperture by CO2 , BIG is only required in elevated CO2 -induced closure and not in the inhibition of stomatal opening by this environmental signal. These data show that, at the molecular level, the CO2 -mediated inhibition of opening and promotion of stomatal closure signaling pathways are separable and BIG represents a distinguishing element in these two CO2 -mediated responses.


Arabidopsis thaliana ; BIG gene; CO2 signaling; S-type anion channel; abscisic acid (ABA); stomatal function

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