Oscillations in guard-cell cytosolic-free calcium


Stimulus-induced oscillations in guard-cell cytosolic-free calcium.

by McAinsh M. R., Webb A. A. R., Taylor J. E., Hetherington A. M. (1995)

Institute of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Sciences, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ, United Kingdom.

in Plant Cell 7: 12071219. – doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1105/tpc.7.8.1207

CrossRef |PubMed |CAS | –



Ca2+ is implicated as a second messenger in the response of stomata to a range of stimuli. However, the mechanism by which stimulus-induced increases in guard cell cytosolic free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) are transduced into different physiological responses remains to be explained.

Oscillations in [Ca2+]i may provide one way in which this can occur. We used photometric and imaging techniques to examine this hypothesis in guard cells of Commelina communis.

External Ca2+ ([Ca2+]e), which causes an increase in [Ca2+]i, was used as a closing stimulus. The total increase in [Ca2+]i was directly related to the concentration of [Ca2+]e, both of which correlated closely with the degree of stomatal closure.

Increases were oscillatory in nature, with the pattern of the oscillations dependent on the concentration of [Ca2+]e. At 0.1 mM, [Ca2+]e induced symmetrical oscillations. In contrast, 1.0 mM [Ca2+]e induced asymmetric oscillations. Oscillations were stimulus dependent and modulated by changing [Ca2+]e.

Experiments using Ca2+ channel blockers and Mn2+-quenching studies suggested a role for Ca2+ influx during the oscillatory behavior without excluding the possible involvement of Ca2+ release from intracellular stores.

These data suggest a mechanism for encoding the information required to distinguish between a number of different Ca2+-mobilizing stimuli in guard cells, using stimulus-specific patterns of oscillations in [Ca2+]i.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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

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