Functional analysis of cellulose and xyloglucan in the walls of stomatal guard cells of Arabidopsis

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45 Scopus citations


Stomatal guard cells are pairs of specialized epidermal cells that control water and CO2 exchange between the plant and the environment. To fulfill the functions of stomatal opening and closure that are driven by changes in turgor pressure, guard cell walls must be both strong and flexible, but how the structure and dynamics of guard cell walls enable stomatal function remains poorly understood. To address this question, we applied cell biological and genetic analyses to investigate guard cell walls and their relationship to stomatal function in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Using live-cell spinning disk confocal microscopy, we measured the motility of cellulose synthase (CESA)-containing complexes labeled by green fluorescent protein (GFP)-CESA3 and observed a reduced proportion of GFP-CESA3 particles colocalizing with microtubules upon stomatal closure. Imaging cellulose organization in guard cells revealed a relatively uniform distribution of cellulose in the open state and a more fibrillar pattern in the closed state, indicating that cellulose microfibrils undergo dynamic reorganization during stomatal movements. In cesa3je5 mutants defective in cellulose synthesis and xxtl xxt2 mutants lacking the hemicellulose xyloglucan, stomatal apertures, changes in guard cell length, and cellulose reorganization were aberrant during fusicoccin-induced stomatal opening or abscisic acid-induced stomatal closure, indicating that sufficient cellulose and xyloglucan are required for normal guard cell dynamics. Together, these results provide new insights into how guard cell walls allow stomata to function as responsive mediators of gas exchange at the plant surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1398-1419
Number of pages22
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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