G Protein Regulation of Ion Channels and Abscisic Acid Signaling in Arabidopsis Guard Cells

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Science  15 Jun 2001:
Vol. 292, Issue 5524, pp. 2070-2072
DOI: 10.1126/science.1059046

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The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) promotes plant water conservation by decreasing the apertures of stomatal pores in the epidermis through which water loss occurs. We found thatArabidopsis thaliana plants harboring transferred DNA insertional mutations in the sole prototypical heterotrimeric GTP-binding (G) protein α subunit gene, GPA1, lack both ABA inhibition of guard cell inward K+ channels and pH-independent ABA activation of anion channels. Stomatal opening ingpa1 plants is insensitive to inhibition by ABA, and the rate of water loss from gpa1 mutants is greater than that from wild-type plants. Manipulation of G protein status in guard cells may provide a mechanism for controlling plant water balance.

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