Journal Article

Phytochrome and Blue Light-Mediated Stomatal Opening in the Orchid, <i>Paphiopedilum</i>

Lawrence D. Talbott, Jianxin Zhu, Seung Won Han and Eduardo Zeiger

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 43, issue 6, pages 639-646
Published in print June 2002 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online June 2002 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Phytochrome and Blue Light-Mediated Stomatal Opening in the Orchid, Paphiopedilum

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Guard cells of the orchid genus, Paphiopedilum have been reported to lack developed chloroplasts and detectable chlorophyll a autofluorescence. Paphiopedilum stomata lack a photosynthesis-dependent opening response but have a blue light-specific opening. The present study found that low fluence rate green and red light elicited stomatal opening in Paphiopedilum and this opening was reversed by far red light, indicating the presence of a phytochrome-mediated opening response. Phytochrome-dependent, red light-stimulated opening was largest under low fluence rates and decreased to near zero as fluence rate increased. A recently discovered green light reversibility of blue light-specific stomatal opening was used to probe the properties of the blue light response in Paphiopedilum stomata. Blue light-stimulated opening was completely reversed by green light in the presence of far red light. Red light enhanced the blue light response of Paphiopedilum guard cells when given as a pretreatment or together with blue light. Analysis of guard cell pigments showed that guard cells have small amounts of chlorophyll a and b, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin, antheraxanthin and lutein. Zeaxanthin content increased in response to blue light or ascorbate and declined in the dark or under illumination in the presence of dithiothreitol, indicating the presence of an active xanthophyll cycle. Thus Paphiopedilum stomata possess both a blue light-mediated opening response with characteristics similar to species with normal chloroplast development and a novel phytochrome-mediated opening response.

Keywords: Keywords: Blue light — Paphiopedilum — Phytochrome — Stomata — Zeaxanthin.

Journal Article.  5920 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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