Grasses: The recipe for especially efficient stomata
- March 16, 2017
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Scientists have identified a key element underlying the superior function of stomata — or tiny, gas-exchanging pores — in grasses, where stomata function more efficiently than they do in other plant types.
During photosynthesis, plants maximize the amount of carbon they intake from carbon dioxide, while minimizing the amount of water they lose, by adjusting their stomata. Grasses — the plant lineage that provides the majority of human food, fiber and biofuel — have evolved a unique stomata structure that allows them to do this function particularly well.
Here, studying Brachypodium distachyon, a grass species related to major cereal grains like wheat, Michael Raissig et al. used a genetic screen to identify elements responsible for the unique morphology of grass stomata. They uncovered a transcription factor, or protein, known as MUTE. The version of MUTE found in Brachypodium was bigger than the related protein in the flowering plant Arabidopsis; it was also mobile, traveling to cells adjacent to where it was synthesized.
Michael T. Raissig, Juliana L. Matos, M. Ximena Anleu Gil, Ari Kornfeld, Akhila Bettadapur, Emily Abrash, Hannah R. Allison, Grayson Badgley, John P. Vogel, Joseph A. Berry, Dominique C. Bergmann – Mobile MUTE specifies subsidiary cells to build physiologically improved grass stomata. – Science, 2017; 355 (6330): 1215 DOI: 10.1126/science.aal3254
Read the full article: Science Daily