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Science. 2017 Mar 17;355(6330):1215-1218. doi: 10.1126/science.aal3254. Epub 2017 Mar 16.

Mobile MUTE specifies subsidiary cells to build physiologically improved grass stomata.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Stanford University, 371 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. raissig@stanford.edu dbergmann@stanford.edu.
2
Department of Biology, Stanford University, 371 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
3
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), Stanford University, 371 Serra Mall, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
4
Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, 260 Panama Street, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
5
U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, 2800 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, USA.

Abstract

Plants optimize carbon assimilation while limiting water loss by adjusting stomatal aperture. In grasses, a developmental innovation-the addition of subsidiary cells (SCs) flanking two dumbbell-shaped guard cells (GCs)-is linked to improved stomatal physiology. Here, we identify a transcription factor necessary and sufficient for SC formation in the wheat relative Brachypodium distachyon. Unexpectedly, the transcription factor is an ortholog of the stomatal regulator AtMUTE, which defines GC precursor fate in Arabidopsis The novel role of BdMUTE in specifying lateral SCs appears linked to its acquisition of cell-to-cell mobility in Brachypodium Physiological analyses on SC-less plants experimentally support classic hypotheses that SCs permit greater stomatal responsiveness and larger range of pore apertures. Manipulation of SC formation and function in crops, therefore, may be an effective approach to enhance plant performance.

PMID:
28302860
DOI:
10.1126/science.aal3254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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