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Plant Mol Biol. 1995 Jun;28(3):353-61.

Anion channels as central mechanisms for signal transduction in guard cells and putative functions in roots for plant-soil interactions.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of California San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0116, USA.


In higher plants anion channels have recently been suggested to play key roles in controlling cellular functions, including turgor- and osmoregulation, stomatal movements, anion transport, signal transduction and possibly also signal propagation. In guard cells and roots, physiological functions of anion channels have been proposed which will be discussed here. In initial investigations it was proposed that anion channels in the plasma membrane of guard cells provide a prominent control mechanism for stomatal closing. The proposed model suggests that anion channel activation and the resulting anion efflux from guard cells cause membrane depolarization, thereby driving K+ efflux through outward-rectifying K+ channels required for stomatal closing. This article provides a brief review of new and recent insights into the molecular properties and cell biological functions of anion channels in guard cells. Furthermore, recently implicated putative functions of anion channels in roots during salt stress, xylem loading and Al3+ tolerance are addressed.

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