A variety of stimuli, such as abscisic acid (ABA), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and elicitors of plant defense reactions, have been shown to induce stomatal closure. Our study addresses commonalities in the signaling pathways that these stimuli trigger. A recent report showed that both ABA and ROS stimulate an NADPH-dependent, hyperpolarization-activated Ca2+ influx current in Arabidopsis guard cells termed "ICa" (Z.M. Pei, Y. Murata, G. Benning, S. Thomine, B. Klüsener, G.J. Allen, E. Grill, J.I. Schroeder, Nature  406: 731-734). We found that yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) elicitor and chitosan, both elicitors of plant defense responses, also activate this current and activation requires cytosolic NAD(P)H. These elicitors also induced elevations in the concentration of free cytosolic calcium ([Ca2+]cyt) and stomatal closure in guard cells. ABA and ROS elicited [Ca2+]cyt oscillations in guard cells only when extracellular Ca2+ was present. In a 5 mM KCl extracellular buffer, 45% of guard cells exhibited spontaneous [Ca2+]cyt oscillations that differed in their kinetic properties from ABA-induced Ca2+ increases. These spontaneous [Ca2+]cyt oscillations also required the availability of extracellular Ca2+ and depended on the extracellular potassium concentration. Interestingly, when ABA was applied to spontaneously oscillating cells, ABA caused cessation of [Ca2+]cyt elevations in 62 of 101 cells, revealing a new mode of ABA signaling. These data show that fungal elicitors activate a shared branch with ABA in the stress signal transduction pathway in guard cells that activates plasma membrane ICa channels and support a requirement for extracellular Ca2+ for elicitor and ABA signaling, as well as for cellular [Ca2+]cyt oscillation maintenance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science