Journal Article

Stomatal Density is Controlled by a Mesophyll-Derived Signaling Molecule

Tatsuhiko Kondo, Ryoko Kajita, Aya Miyazaki, Mayumi Hokoyama, Touko Nakamura-Miura, Satoko Mizuno, Yuichi Masuda, Kazuhiro Irie, Yuki Tanaka, Shinobu Takada, Tatsuo Kakimoto and Youji Sakagami

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 51, issue 1, pages 1-8
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online December 2009 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcp180
Stomatal Density is Controlled by a Mesophyll-Derived Signaling Molecule

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Stomata are composed of a pair of guard cells and a pore between them, and their density and positions are regulated by developmental and environmental signals. In a screen in which we overexpressed many genes coding for putative secretory proteins one by one in Arabidopsis, we identified a gene named STOMAGEN, which increases stomatal density when overexpressed. The STOMAGEN gene encodes a small peptide with a putative secretory signal sequence at its N-terminus and is expressed preferentially in mesophyll cells. This peptide belongs to the EPIDERMAL PATTERNING FACTOR (EPF) family of the cysteine-rich peptides superfamily. The mature form was a 45-amino-acid peptide (stomagen) with three intramolecular disulfide bonds. Stomagen treatment at very low concentrations, as low as 10 nM, increased the stomatal density of wild-type Arabidopsis plants. We propose that stomagen is a mesophyll-to-epidermis signaling molecule that positively regulates stomatal density. We also suggest that stomagen increases stomatal density by competing with negative regulators EPF1 and EPF2 for the receptor-like protein TOO MANY MOUTHS.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Cell differentiation; Peptide hormone; Stomata

Journal Article.  4936 words.  Illustrated.

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

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