Mesophyll cells and guard cells use distinct and different receptor types and/or signal transduction pathways in ABA regulation of K+ channels in stomata


Distinct abscisic acid signaling pathways for modulation of guard cell versus mesophyll cell potassium channels revealed by expression studies in Xenopous laevis oocytes.

by Sutton F., Paul S. S., Wang X.-Q., Assmann S. M. (2000)

  1. Fedora Sutton * ,1,
  2. Sunil S. Paul2,1,
  3. Xi-Qing Wang2 and
  4. Sarah M. Assmann2

1 Plant Science Department, South Dakota State University, Box 2108, Brookings, South Dakota 57007 (F.S., S.S.P.); and

2 Biology Department, Pennsylvania State University, 208 Mueller Laboratory, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802 (X.-Q.W., S.M.A.)

in Plant Physiology 124:223230. – doi: http:/​/​dx.​doi.​org/​10.​1104/​pp.​124.​1.​223– 

CrossRef |PubMed |CAS | –


Regulation of guard cell ion transport by abscisic acid (ABA) and in particular ABA inhibition of a guard cell inward K+current (I Kin) is well documented. However, little is known concerning ABA effects on ion transport in other plant cell types.

Here we applied patch clamp techniques to mesophyll cell protoplasts of fava bean (Vicia faba cv Long Pod) plants and demonstrated ABA inhibition of an outward K+ current (I Kout).

When mesophyll cell protoplast mRNA (mesophyll mRNA) was expressed in Xenopus laevisoocytes, I Koutwas generated that displayed similar properties to I Kout observed from direct analysis of mesophyll cell protoplasts.I Kout expressed by mesophyll mRNA-injected oocytes was inhibited by ABA, indicating that the ABA signal transduction pathway observed in mesophyll cells was preserved in the frog oocytes.

Co-injection of oocytes with guard cell protoplast mRNA and cRNA for KAT1, an inward K+ channel expressed in guard cells, resulted in I Kin that was similarly inhibited by ABA.

However, oocytes co-injected with mesophyll mRNA and KAT1 cRNA produced I Kin that was not inhibited by ABA.

These results demonstrate that the mesophyll-encoded signaling mechanism could not substitute for the guard cell pathway. These findings indicate that mesophyll cells and guard cells use distinct and different receptor types and/or signal transduction pathways in ABA regulation of K+ channels.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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

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