Editors' ChoicePlant biology

Controlling a Plant's Water Balance

Science's STKE  18 Apr 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 331, pp. tw133
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3312006tw133

Plants lose much of their water through stomata, tiny pores on their leaves. The opening and closing of these pores, and thus a considerable part of the plant's water management, is at least partially under control of the hormone abscisic acid (ABA). Mishra et al. have now elucidated the signaling pathway between ABA in the opening and closing of stomatal pores. This mechanistic understanding has the potential to be used to produce plants with enhanced water-usage efficiency and drought tolerance.

G. Mishra, W. Zhang, F. Deng, J. Zhao, X. Wang, A bifurcating pathway directs abscisic acid effects on stomatal closure and opening in Arabidopsis. Science 312, 264-266 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]