Expression of a Cs(+)-resistant guard cell K+ channel confers Cs(+)-resistant, light-induced stomatal opening in transgenic arabidopsis.
Inward-rectifying K+ (K+in) channels in the guard cell plasma membrane have been suggested to function as a major pathway for K+ influx into guard cells during stomatal opening. When K+in channels were blocked with external Cs+ in wild-type Arabidopsis guard cells, light-induced stomatal opening was reduced. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants were generated that expressed a mutant of the guard cell K+in channel, KAT1, which shows enhanced resistance to the Cs+ block. Stomata in these transgenic lines opened in the presence of external Cs+. Patch-clamp experiments with transgenic guard cells showed that inward K+(in) currents were blocked less by Cs+ than were K+ currents in controls. These data provide direct evidence that KAT1 functions as a plasma membrane K+ channel in vivo and that K+in channels constitute an important mechanism for light-induced stomatal opening. In addition, biophysical properties of K+in channels in guard cells indicate that components in addition to KAT1 may contribute to the formation of K+in channels in vivo.
Ichida, AM; Pei, ZM; Baizabal-Aguirre, VM; Turner, KJ; Schroeder, JI
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