Hydrogen peroxide, cytokinin, auxin, light and stomata


Photo credit: Google

Vicia faba (Broad Bean, Faba Bean, Horse Bean, Tic Bean)

Cytokinin- and auxin-induced stomatal opening involves a decrease in levels of hydrogen peroxide in guard cells of Vicia faba.

by Song X.-G., She X.-P., He J.-M., Huang C., Song T.-s. (2006)

Xi-Gui Song A , Xiao-Ping She A C , Jun-Min He A , Chen Huang B and Tu-sheng Song B

– Author Affiliations
A School of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, People’s Republic of China.

B Department of Biology and Genetics, Medical School of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710062, People’s Republic of China.

in Funct. Plant Biol. 33, 573–583. – doi: 10.1071/FP05232 –

CrossRef Full Text | Google Scholar



Previous studies have shown that cytokinins and auxins can induce the opening of stomata. However, the mechanism of stomatal opening caused by cytokinins and auxins remains unclear.

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels in guard cells and stomatal opening induced by cytokinins and auxins in Vicia faba.

By means of stomatal bioassay and laser-scanning confocal microscopy, we provide evidence that cytokinins and auxins reduced the levels of H2O2 in guard cells and induced stomatal opening in darkness. Additionally, cytokinins not only reduced exogenous H2O2 levels in guard cells caused by exposure to light, but also abolished H2O2 that had been generated during a dark period, and promoted stomatal opening, as did ascorbic acid (ASA, an important reducing substrate for H2O2 removal).

However, unlike cytokinins, auxins did not reduce exogenous H2O2, did not abolish H2O2 that had been generated in the dark, and therefore did not promote reopening of stoma induced to close in the dark. The above-mentioned effects of auxins were similar to that of diphenylene iodonium (DPI, an inhibitor of the H2O2-generating enzyme NADPH oxidase).

Taken together our results indicate that cytokinins probably reduce the levels of H2O2 in guard cells by scavenging, whereas auxins limit H2O2 levels through restraining H2O2 generation, inducing stomatal opening in darkness.


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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

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