JIC Scientists Open Eyes on Stomatal Spacing

Scientists at John Innes Centre in UK discovered the mystery behind stomata spacing and plant breathing using combined imaging and modeling. Based on their study, it was found out that the ability of cells to divide and form stomata is retained in only one of the two daughter cells generated by each division. This pattern called stem cell behavior is also present in animal cells.

In stomata, the stem cell behavior depends on SPEECHLESS (SPCH), a protein that is kept active in one of the daughter cells. That daughter cell is kept at the middle of her cellular relatives through a "molecular dance" wherein the polarity of cells switches every division. Later on the daughter cell forms a stoma, surrounded by non-stomatal relatives, ensuring that the stomatal pores are spaced out.

"Unravelling this mechanism was only possible because of advances in live imaging and computational modelling," said Professor Enrico Coen from JIC, the plant science centre strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). These findings could help researchers to tailor the number and arrangement of stomata to different environments to regulate the efficiency at which plants absorb carbon dioxide or diffuse water vapor. 

Know more about this study at http://news.jic.ac.uk/2011/09/ricocoenstomata/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NewsFromTheJohnInnesCentre+%28News+from+the+John+Innes+Centre%29.


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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