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GABA does not regulate stomatal CO2 signalling in Arabidopsis.

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Optimal stomatal regulation is important for plant adaptation to changing environmental conditions and for maintaining crop yield. The guard-cell signal GABA is produced from glutamate by Glutamate Decarboxylase (GAD) during a reaction that generates carbon dioxide (CO2) as a by-product. Here, we investigated a putative connection between GABA signalling and the more clearly defined CO2 signalling pathway in guard cells. The GABA-deficient mutant lines gad2-1, gad2-2 and gad1/2/4/5 were examined for stomatal sensitivity to various CO2 concentrations. Our findings show a phenotypical discrepancy between the allelic mutant lines gad2-1 and gad2-2 - a weakened CO2 response in gad2-1 (GABI_474_E05) in contrast to a wild-type response in gad2-2 (SALK_028819) and gad1/2/4/5. Through transcriptomic and genomic investigation, we traced the response of gad2-1 to a deletion of full-length Mitogen-activated protein kinase 12 (MPK12) in the GABI-KAT line, thereafter as renamed gad2-1*. Guard cell-specific complementation of MPK12 restored the gad2-1* CO2 phenotype, which confirms the proposed importance of MPK12 to CO2 sensitivity. Additionally, we found that stomatal opening under low atmospheric CO2 occurs independently of the GABA-modulated opening-channel ALMT9. Our results confirm that GABA has a role in modulating the rate of stomatal opening and closing - but not in response to CO2  per se.



ALMTs, CO2 signalling, GABA, genomics, MPK12, stomatal movement

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Journal of Experimental Botany

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Oxford University Press (OUP)