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Guard cells in fern stomata are connected by plasmodesmata, but control cytosolic Ca2+ levels autonomously


Voss, LJ and McAdam, SAM and Knoblauch, M and Rathje, JM and Brodribb, T and Hedrich, R and Roelfsema, MRG, Guard cells in fern stomata are connected by plasmodesmata, but control cytosolic Ca2+ levels autonomously, New Phytologist, 219, (1) pp. 206-215. ISSN 1469-8137 (2018) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2018 The Authors. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1111/nph.15153


  • Recent studies have revealed that some responses of fern stomata to environmental signals differ from those of their relatives in seed plants. However, it is unknown whether the biophysical properties of guard cells differ fundamentally between species of both clades.
  • Intracellular micro-electrodes and the fluorescent Ca2+ reporter FURA2 were used to study voltage-dependent cation channels and Ca2+ signals in guard cells of the ferns Polypodium vulgare and Asplenium scolopendrium.
  • Voltage clamp experiments with fern guard cells revealed similar properties of voltage-dependent K+ channels as found in seed plants. However, fluorescent dyes moved within the fern stomata, from one guard cell to the other, which does not occur in most seed plants. Despite the presence of plasmodesmata, which interconnect fern guard cells, Ca2+ signals could be elicited in each of the cells individually.
  • Based on the common properties of voltage-dependent channels in ferns and seed plants, it is likely that these key transport proteins are conserved in vascular plants. However, the symplastic connections between fern guard cells in mature stomata indicate that the biophysical mechanisms that control stomatal movements differ between ferns and seed plants.
  • Item Details

    Item Type:Refereed Article
    Keywords:calcium signals, ferns, guard cell, plasmodesmata, potassium channels, seed plants, stomata.
    Research Division:Biological Sciences
    Research Group:Plant biology
    Research Field:Plant physiology
    Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
    Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
    Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
    UTAS Author:McAdam, SAM (Dr Scott McAdam)
    UTAS Author:Brodribb, T (Professor Tim Brodribb)
    ID Code:126301
    Year Published:2018
    Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP170100761)
    Web of Science® Times Cited:11
    Deposited By:Plant Science
    Deposited On:2018-06-04
    Last Modified:2019-03-26
    Downloads:138 View Download Statistics

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