Stomata within the plant epidermis regulate CO 2 uptake for photosynthesis and water loss through transpiration. Stomatal opening in Arabidopsis thaliana is determined by various factors, including blue light as a signal and multiple phytohormones. Plasma membrane transporters, including H + -ATPase, K + channels and anion channels in guard cells, mediate these processes, and the activities and expression levels of these components determine stomatal aperture. However, the regulatory mechanisms involved in these processes are not fully understood. In this study, we used infrared thermography to isolate a mutant defective in stomatal opening in response to light. The causative mutation was identified as an allele of the brassinosteroid (BR) biosynthetic mutant dwarf5. Guard cells from this mutant exhibited normal H + -ATPase activity in response to blue light, but showed reduced K + accumulation and inward-rectifying K + (K + in) channel activity as a consequence of decreased expression of major K + in channel genes. Consistent with these results, another BR biosynthetic mutant, det2-1, and a BR receptor mutant, bri1-6, exhibited reduced blue light-dependent stomatal opening. Furthermore, application of BR to the hydroponic culture medium completely restored stomatal opening in dwarf5 and det2-1 but not in bri1-6. However, application of BR to the epidermis of dwarf5 did not restore stomatal response. From these results, we conclude that endogenous BR acts in a long-term manner and is required in guard cells with the ability to open stomata in response to light, probably through regulation of K + in channel activity.
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