Stomatal guard cells are unique as a plant cell model and, because of the depth of present knowledge on ion transport and its regulation, offer a first look at signal integration in higher plants. A large body of data indicates that Ca2+ and H+ act independently, integrating with protein kinases and phosphatases, to control the gating of the K+ and Cl channels that mediate solute flux for stomatal movements. Oscillations in the cytosolic-free concentration of Ca2+ contribute to a signaling cassette, integrated within these events through an unusual coupling with membrane voltage for solute homeostasis. Similar cassettes are anticipated to include control pathways linked to cytosolic pH. Additional developments during the last two years point to events in membrane traffic that play equally important roles in stomatal control. Research in these areas is now adding entirely new dimensions to our understanding of guard cell signaling.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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