J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2005, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (10): 1159-1172.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2005.00146.x

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Regulation Mechanisms of Stomatal Oscillation

Hui-Min YANG,  Jian-Hua ZHANG and Xiao-Yan ZHANG   

Abstract: Stomata function as the gates between the plant and the atmospheric environment. Stomatal movement, including stomatal opening and closing, controls CO2 absorption as the raw material for photosynthesis and water loss through transpiration. How to reduce water loss and maintain enough CO2 absorption has been an interesting research topic for some time. Simple stomatal opening may elevate CO2 absorption, but, in the meantime, promote the water loss, whereas simple closing of stomatal pores may reduce both water loss and CO2 absorption, resulting in impairment of plant photosynthesis. Both processes are not economical to the plant. As a special rhythmic stomatal movement that usually occurs at smaller stomatal apertures, stomatal oscillation can keep CO2 absorption at a sufficient level and reduce water loss at the same time, suggesting a potential improvement in water use efficiency. Stomatal oscillation is usually found after a sudden change in one environmental factor in relatively constant environments. Many environmental stimuli can induce stomatal oscillation. It appears that, at the physiological level, feedback controls are involved in stomatal oscillation. At the cellular level, possibly two different patterns exist: (i) a quicker responsive pattern; and (ii) a slower response. Both involve water potential changes and water channel regulation, but the mechanisms of regulation of the two patterns are different. Some evidence suggests that the regulation of water channels may play a vital and primary role in stomatal oscillation. The present review summarizes studies on stomatal oscillation and concludes with some discussion regarding the mechanisms of regulation of stomatal oscillation.

Key words: Ca2+ signaling, guard cell, plant stress signaling, plant water relation, stomatal oscillation, water channel.

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