Guard Cell Metabolism and Stomatal Function.
AbstractThe control of gaseous exchange between the leaf and external atmosphere is governed by stomatal conductance (gs); therefore, stomata play a critical role in photosynthesis and transpiration and overall plant productivity. Stomatal conductance is determined by both anatomical features and behavioral characteristics. Here we review some of the osmoregulatory pathways in guard cell metabolism, genes and signals that determine stomatal function and patterning, and the recent work that explores coordination between gs and carbon assimilation (A) and the influence of spatial distribution of functional stomata on underlying mesophyll anatomy. We also evaluate the current literature on mesophyll-driven signals that may coordinate stomatal behavior with mesophyll carbon assimilation and explore stomatal kinetics as a possible target to improve A and water use efficiency. By understanding these processes, we can start to provide insight into manipulation of these regulatory pathways to improve stomatal behavior and identify novel unexploited targets for altering stomatal behavior and improving crop plant productivity.