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A permeable cuticle, not open stomata, is the primary source of water loss from expanding leaves


Kane, CN and Jordan, GJ and Jansen, S and McAdam, SAM, A permeable cuticle, not open stomata, is the primary source of water loss from expanding leaves, Frontiers in Plant Science, 11 Article 774. ISSN 1664-462X (2020) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.3389/fpls.2020.00774


High rates of water loss in young, expanding leaves have previously been attributed to open stomata that only develop a capacity to close once exposed to low humidity and high abscisic acid (ABA) levels. To test this model, we quantified water loss through stomata and cuticle in expanding leaves of Quercus rubra. Stomatal anatomy and density were observed using scanning electron microscopy. Leaves of Q. rubra less than 5 days after emergence have no stomata; therefore, water loss from these leaves must be through the cuticle. Once stomata develop, they are initially covered in a cuticle and have no outer cuticular ledge, implying that the majority of water lost from leaves in this phase of expansion is through the cuticle. Foliar ABA levels are high when leaves first expand and decline exponentially as leaves expand. Once leaves have expanded to maximum size, ABA levels are at a minimum, an outer cuticular ledge has formed on most stomata, cuticular conductance has declined, and most water loss is through the stomata. Similar sequences of events leading to stomatal regulation of water loss in expanding leaves may be general across angiosperms.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:plant cuticle, Quercus-oak, leaf development, abscisic acid, stomatal development, stomata, plant physiology, cuticle development
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 biological sciences
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
ID Code:150463
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2022-06-16
Last Modified:2022-06-16

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