Abstract. The effect of atmospheric humidity on the kinetics of stomatal responses was quantified in gas exchange experiments using sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrid) and soybean (Glycine max). Pulses of blue light were used to elicit pulses of stomatal conductance that were mediated by the specific blue light response of guard cells. Kinetic parameters of the conductance response were more closely related to leaf‐air vapour pressure difference (VPD) than to relative humidity or transpiration. Increasing VPD significantly accelerated stomatal opening in both sugarcane and soybean, despite an approximately five‐fold faster response in sugarcane. In contrast, the kinetics of stomatal recovery (closure) following the pulse were similar in the two species. Acceleration of opening by high VPD was observed even under conditions where soybean exhibited a feedforward response of decreasing transpiration (E) with increasing evaporative demand (VPD). This result suggests that epidermal, rather than bulk leaf, water status mediates the VPD effect on stomatal kinetics. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that increased cpidermal water loss at high VPD decreases the backpressure exerted by neighbouring cells on guard cells. allowing more rapid stomatal opening per unit of guard cell metabolic response to blue light.
Plant Cell & Environment – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 1990
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