The evolutionary development of grass stomata


Molecular Evolution of Grass Stomata

Chen Z.-H., Chen G., Dai F., Wang Y., Hills A., Ruan Y.-L., Zhang G., Franks P. J., Nevo E., Blatt M. R. (2016)

Zhong-Hua Chen, Western Sydney University
Guang Chen, SRI International

Fei Dai

Yizhou Wang

Adrian Hills, University of Glasgow
Yong-Ling Ruan, University of Newcastle

Guoping Zhang

Peter J. Franks, University of Sydney

Eviatar Nevo

Michael R. Blatt, University of Glasgow

in Trends in Plant Science – DOI: –


Grasses began to diversify in the late Cretaceous Period and now dominate more than one third of global land area, including three-quarters of agricultural land. We hypothesize that their success is likely attributed to the evolution of highly responsive stomata capable of maximizing productivity in rapidly changing environments.

Grass stomata harness the active turgor control mechanisms present in stomata of more ancient plant lineages, maximizing several morphological and developmental features to ensure rapid responses to environmental inputs.

The evolutionary development of grass stomata appears to have been a gradual progression. Therefore, understanding the complex structures, developmental events, regulatory networks, and combinations of ion transporters necessary to drive rapid stomatal movement may inform future efforts towards breeding new crop varieties.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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