Date: 28 Jul 2007

Stomatal Patterning and Guard Cell Differentiation

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Abstract

Gas exchange between plants and the atmosphere takes place through stomata (singular,stoma), which are microscopic valves on the plant epidermis composed of paired guard cells. Stomatal differentiationinvolves a series of asymmetric divisions of precursor cells followed by a single symmetric celldivision that produces terminally differentiated guard cell pairs. Stomatal development emerged as a modelsystem to study how environmental- and cell-cell signals translate into site/orientation of asymmetric celldivision and cell-type differentiation. This chapter focuses on cell-state transition events leading toguard cell differentiation in the model plant Arabidopsis, and cell-cell signaling mechanisms controllingstomatal patterning. Understanding how cell-cycle regulators influence stomatal patterning and differentiationwill advance our knowledge of cell division control in plant development.