Role of malate synthesis mediated by phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in guard cells in the regulation of stomatal movement

Asai, N.; Nakajima, N.; Tamaoki, M.; Kamada, H.; Kondo, N.

Plant and Cell Physiology 41(1): 10-15


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-0781
PMID: 10750703
DOI: 10.1093/pcp/41.1.10
Accession: 003551753

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To clarify the pathway and role of malate synthesis in guard cells, epidermal strips isolated from Vicia faba L. leaflets were treated with 3,3-dichloro-2-dihydroxyphosphinoylmethyl-2-propenoate (DCDP), a specific inhibitor of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC). When dark-closed stomata were illuminated, malate accumulated in guard cells and stomata opened; these were inhibited by 60% and 30%, respectively, by 5 mM DCDP treatment. When light-opened stomata were treated with DCDP, both malate level in guard cells and stomatal aperture decreased. Treatment with 5 mM DCDP partially inhibited CO2 incorporation into malate in guard cells. Treatment with mannitol at 0.4 M (osmotic stress) in the light increased malate level in guard cells and closed stomata. DCDP treatment decreased both malate level and stomatal aperture under stressed condition. These results show that malate synthesis in the light under both non-stressed and stressed conditions is dependent on PEPC activity. The extent of the decrease in malate level by DCDP treatment was larger under stressed condition than under nonstressed condition, suggesting that osmotic stress may enhance the activity of this pathway of malate synthesis which is induced by light. Role of malate synthesis in guard cells is discussed.