Annals of Botany
1887-ISSN: 0305-7364 (1095-8290)
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Article URL: https://academic.oup.com/aob/article/123/4/i/5380895?rss=1
Citation: Vol 123 No. 4 (2019) pp i iii
Publication Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 00:00:00 GMT
Journal: Annals of Botany
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Article URL: https://academic.oup.com/aob/article/123/4/iv/5380894?rss=1
Citation: Vol 123 No. 4 (2019) pp iv viii
Publication Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 00:00:00 GMT
Journal: Annals of Botany
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Background and AimsPhenotypic plasticity and genetic differentiation both play important roles in the establishment and spread of species after extra-range dispersal; however, the adaptive potential of plasticity and genetic divergence in successful invasions remains unclear.MethodsWe measured six anatomical traits associated with drought tolerance in contrasting water environments for individuals from the invasive and native range of the bunchgrass Brachypodium sylvaticum. To represent sources contributing to admixed genotypes in the invasive range accurately, we used unique alleles to determine probabilities of genetic contribution, and utilized these as weights in our analyses. The adaptive values of plasticity and genetic differentiation were assessed using regression.Key ResultsNo plasticity was found in response to water availability for any of the measured traits. Bulliform cell area and three traits related to xylem morphology displayed genetic differentiation between invasive and native ranges, indicating a shift in the invasive range towards drought-tolerant phenotypes. Genetic divergence was not consistently in the direction indicated by selection, suggesting that responses are limited by trade-offs with other traits or physical constraints.ConclusionsOur results indicate that invasive adaptation is the consequence of post-introduction selection leading to genetic differentiation. Selection, rather than plasticity, is driving B. sylvaticum success in its invaded range.
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Background and AimsAlpine cushion plants can initially facilitate other species during ecological succession, but later on can be negatively affected by their development, especially when beneficiaries possess traits allowing them to overrun their host. This can be reinforced by accelerated warming favouring competitively strong species over cold-adapted cushion specialists. However, little empirical research has addressed the trait-based mechanisms of these interactions. The ecological strategies of plants colonizing the cushion plant Thylacospermum caespitosum (Caryophyllaceae), a dominant pioneer of subnival zones, were studied in the Western Himalayas.MethodsTo assess whether the cushion colonizers are phylogenetically and functionally distinct, 1668 vegetation samples were collected, both in open ground outside the cushions and inside their live and dead canopies, in two mountain ranges, Karakoram and Little Tibet. More than 50 plant traits related to growth, biomass allocation and resource acquisition were measured for target species, and the phylogenetic relationships of these species were studied [or determined].Key ResultsSpecies-based trait–environment analysis with phylogenetic correction showed that in both mountain ranges Thylacospermum colonizers are phylogenetically diverse but functionally similar and are functionally different from species preferring bare soil outside cushions. Successful colonizers are fast-growing, clonal graminoids and forbs, penetrating the cushion by rhizomes and stolons. They have higher root-to-shoot ratios, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations, and soil moisture and nutrient demands, sharing the syndrome of competitive species with broad elevation ranges typical of the late stages of primary succession. In contrast, the species from open ground have traits typical of stress-tolerant specialists from high and dry environments.ConclusionSpecies colonizing tight cushions of T. caespitosum are competitively strong graminoids and herbaceous perennials from alpine grasslands. Since climate change in the Himalayas favours these species, highly specialized subnival cushion plants may face intense competition and a greater risk of decline in the future.
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Background and AimsNitrogen (N) levels vary between ecosystems, while the form of available N has a substantial impact on growth, development and perception of stress. Plants have the capacity to assimilate N in the form of either nitrate (NO3
–) or ammonium (NH4
+). Recent studies revealed that NO3
– nutrition increases nitric oxide (NO) levels under hypoxia. When oxygen availability changes, plants need to generate energy to protect themselves against hypoxia-induced damage. As the effects of NO3
– or NH4
+ nutrition on energy production remain unresolved, this study was conducted to investigate the role of N source on group VII transcription factors, fermentative genes, energy metabolism and respiration under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Methods We used Arabidopsis plants grown on Hoagland medium with either NO3
– or NH4
+ as a source of N and exposed to 0.8 % oxygen environment. In both roots and seedlings, we investigated the phytoglobin–nitric oxide cycle and the pathways of fermentation and respiration; furthermore, NO levels were tested using a combination of techniques including diaminofluorescein fluorescence, the gas phase Griess reagent assay, respiration by using an oxygen sensor and gene expression analysis by real-time quantitative reverse transcription–PCR methods. Key Results Under NO3
– nutrition, hypoxic stress leads to increases in nitrate reductase activity, NO production, class 1 phytoglobin transcript abundance and metphytoglobin reductase activity. In contrast, none of these processes responded to hypoxia under NH4
+ nutrition. Under NO3
– nutrition, a decreased total respiratory rate and increased alternative oxidase capacity and expression were observed during hypoxia. Data correlated with decreased reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation levels. Moreover, increased fermentation and NAD+ recycling as well as increased ATP production concomitant with the increased expression of transcription factor genes HRE1, HRE2, RAP2.2 and RAP2.12 were observed during hypoxia under NO3
– nutrition.ConclusionsThe results of this study collectively indicate that nitrate nutrition influences multiple factors in order to increase energy efficiency under hypoxia.
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Background and AimsBecause functional–structural plant models (FSPMs) take plant architecture explicitly into consideration, they constitute a promising approach for unravelling plant–plant interactions in complex canopies. However, existing FSPMs mainly address competition for light. The aim of the present work was to develop a comprehensive FSPM accounting for the interactions between plant architecture, environmental factors and the metabolism of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N).MethodsWe developed an original FSPM by coupling models of (1) 3-D wheat architecture, (2) light distribution within canopies and (3) C and N metabolism. Model behaviour was evaluated by simulating the functioning of theoretical canopies consisting of wheat plants of contrasting leaf inclination, arranged in pure and mixed stands and considering four culm densities and three sky conditions.Key ResultsAs an emergent property of the detailed description of metabolism, the model predicted a linear relationship between absorbed light and C assimilation, and a curvilinear relationship between grain mass and C assimilation, applying to both pure stands and each component of mixtures. Over the whole post-anthesis period, planophile plants tended to absorb more light than erectophile plants, resulting in a slightly higher grain mass. This difference was enhanced at low plant density and in mixtures, where the erectophile behaviour resulted in a loss of competitiveness.ConclusionThe present work demonstrates that FSPMs provide a framework allowing the analysis of complex canopies such as studying the impact of particular plant traits, which would hardly be feasible experimentally. The present FSPM can help in interpreting complex interactions by providing access to critical variables such as resource acquisition and allocation, internal metabolic concentrations, leaf life span and grain filling. Simulations were based on canopies identically initialized at flowering; extending the model to the whole cycle is thus required so that all consequences of a trait can be evaluated.
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Background and AimsSink–source imbalance could cause an accumulation of total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC; soluble sugar and starch) in source leaves. We aimed to clarify interspecific differences in how sink–source imbalance and TNC causes the downregulation of photosynthesis among three legume plants. The TNC in source leaves was altered by short-term manipulative treatments, and its effects on photosynthetic characteristics were evaluated.MethodsSoybean, French bean and azuki bean were grown under high nitrogen availability. After primary leaves were fully expanded, they were subjected to additional treatments: defoliation except for two primary leaves; transfer to low nitrogen conditions; transfer to low nitrogen conditions and defoliation; or irradiation by light-emitting diodes. Physiological and anatomical traits such as TNC content, maximum photosynthetic rate, cell wall content and δ
13C values of primary leaves and whole-plant growth were examined.Key ResultsAmong the three legume plants, the downregulation of maximum photosynthesis and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) content was co-ordinated with an increase in TNC only in French bean. Rubisco did not decrease with an increase in TNC in soybean and azuki bean. The defoliation treatment caused an increase in cell wall content especially in soybean, and maximum photosynthesis decreased despite resulting in a higher Rubisco content. This indicates that a decrease in mesophyll conductance could cause photosynthetic downregulation, which was confirmed by an increase in δ
13C.ConclusionThe present results suggest that a downregulation of photosynthesis in response to increased levels of TNC in source leaves can result not only from decreases in Rubisco content, but also from anatomical factors, such as an increase in cell wall thickness leading to reduced chloroplast CO2 concentrations.
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Annals of Botany doi:
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Background and AimsHeteroblasty is a non-reversible morphological change associated with life stage change and has been linked to predictable environmental variation. It is present in several clades from mediterranean-type climates, such as African Restionaceae (restios). These have heteroblastic shoots: juvenile shoots are thin, branched and sterile (sterile shoots); adult shoots are thicker and less branched, and bear inflorescences (reproductive shoots). Ten per cent of the restios retain juvenile-like, sterile shoots as adults (neoteny). We hypothesize (1) that the two shoot types differ in ecophysiological attributes, and (2) that these shoot types (and the neoteny) are associated with different environments.MethodsWe measured shoot mass per surface area (SMA), maximum photosynthetic capacity per biomass (A
mass) and chlorenchyma to ground tissue ratio (CGR) of both shoot types in 14 restio species. We also calculated environmental niche overlap between neotenous and non-neotenous species using an improved multidimensional overlap function based on occurrence data, and linked shoot types with environments using a phylogenetic generalized linear model.Key ResultsSterile shoots showed higher A
mass, lower SMA and higher CGR than reproductive shoots. Neotenous and non-neotenous species overlapped ecologically less than expected by chance: neotenous species favoured more mesic, non-seasonal conditions.ConclusionsWe associate sterile shoot morphology with acquisitive ecophysiological strategies and reproductive shoots with conservative strategies. The heteroblastic switch optimizes carbon efficiency in the juvenile phase (by sterile shoots) in the mesic post-fire conditions. The adult shoots present a compromise between a more conservative strategy favourable under harsher conditions and reproductive success. Heteroblasty in seasonally arid, oligotrophic ecosystems with predictable, fire-driven shifts in water and nutrient availability might play a role in the success of restios and other species-rich lineages in mediterranean-type ecosystems. It may represent a previously unrecognized adaptation in mediterranean clades sharing similar conditions, contributing to their ecological and taxonomic dominance.
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Background and AimsThe ability of plants to allocate energy to resistance against herbivores changes with abiotic conditions and thus may vary along geographical clines, with important consequences for plant communities. Seed size is a plant trait potentially influencing plant tolerance to endoparasites, and seed size often varies across latitude. Consequently, plant tolerance to endoparasites may change across geographical clines.MethodsThe interaction between Quercus ilex (holm oak) and seed-predating Curculio spp. (weevils) was explored along most of the latitudinal range of Q. ilex. This included quantification of variation in seed size, survival likelihood of infested seeds, multi-infestation of acorns and community composition of Curculio weevils in acorns.Key ResultsLarger seeds had a higher probability of surviving weevil attack (i.e. embryo not predated). Southern populations of oak produced on average four times larger seeds than those of northern populations. Consequently, the probability of survival of infested acorns decreased with latitude. The community composition of Curculio varied, with large weevils (C. elephas) dominating in southern populations and small weevils (C. glandium) dominating in northern populations. However, damage tolerance was robust against this turnover in predator functional traits. Furthermore, we did not detect any change in multi-infestation of acorns along the geographical gradient.Conclusions
Quercus ilex tolerance to seed predation by Curculio weevils increases toward the southern end of its distribution. Generally, studies on geographical variation in plant defence against enemies largely ignore seed attributes or they focus on seed physical barriers. Thus, this research suggests another dimension in which geographical trends in plant defences should be considered, i.e. geographical variation in tolerance to seed predators mediated by seed size.
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Background and AimsIt has been reported that low temperatures (LTs) and the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) induce the expression of CBF/DREB1 transcription factors in vegetative tissues and seedlings of Vitis vinifera and Vitis riparia and that foliar applications of ABA to V. vinifera increase the freezing tolerance or cold-hardiness of dormant buds. However, the combined effect of ABA and LTs on the expression of CBF/DREB1 transcription factors and on the acquisition of freezing tolerance in dormant grapevine buds has not been investigated. The objective of this study was to analyse the combined effect of ABA and LT treatments on the expression of CBF/DREB transcription factors and the acquisition of freezing tolerance.Methods
In vitro experiments with single-bud cuttings of grapevines were used to analyse the effect of ABA, ABA + LT and LT on the expression of CBF/DREB transcription factors, dehydrin and antioxidant genes, the acquisition of freezing tolerance and the endogenous content of ABA. Gene expression analysis was performed by quantitative real-time PCR and freezing tolerance was determined by measuring the low-temperature exotherm by differential thermal analysis. ABA levels were determined by gas chromatography coupled to an electron capture detector.Key ResultsThe LT treatment and exogenous application of ABA to grapevine dormant buds increased the expression of the CBF/DREB1 transcription factors VvCBF2, VvCBF3, VvCBF4 and VvCBF6. The joint application of LT and ABA produced a huge increase in the expression of these transcription factors, which was greater than the sum of the increases produced by them individually, which indicates the existence of a synergistic effect between ABA and LT on the activation of these transcription factors. This synergic effect was also observed on the increase in bud cold-hardiness and on the expression of antioxidant and dehydrin genes.ConclusionsThe synergy between ABA and LT on the expression of CBF/DREB1 transcription factors VvCBF2, VvCBF3, VvCBF4 and VvCBF6 plays a key role in cold acclimatization of grapevine buds. The results highlight the importance of the combination of stimuli in the improvement of genetic and physiological responses and help us to understand the adaption of plants to complex environments.
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Background and AimsPyroloids, forest sub-shrubs of the Ericaceae family, are an important model for their mixotrophic nutrition, which mixes carbon from photosynthesis and from their mycorrhizal fungi. They have medical uses but are difficult to cultivate ex situ; in particular, their dust seeds contain undifferentiated, few-celled embryos, whose germination is normally fully supported by fungal partners. Their germination and early ontogenesis thus remain elusive.MethodsAn optimized in vitro cultivation system of five representatives from the subfamily Pyroloideae was developed to study the strength of seed dormancy and the effect of different media and conditions (including light, gibberellins and soluble saccharides) on germination. The obtained plants were analysed for morphological, anatomical and histochemical development.Key ResultsThanks to this novel cultivation method, which breaks dormancy and achieved up to 100 % germination, leafy shoots were obtained in vitro for representatives of all pyroloid genera (Moneses, Orthilia, Pyrola and Chimaphila). In all cases, the first post-germination stage is an undifferentiated structure, from which a root meristem later emerges, well before formation of an adventive shoot.ConclusionsThis cultivation method can be used for further research or for ex situ conservation of pyroloid species. After strong seed dormancy is broken, the tiny globular embryo of pyroloids germinates into an intermediary zone, which is functionally convergent with the protocorm of other plants with dust seeds such as orchids. Like the orchid protocorm, this intermediary zone produces a single meristem: however, unlike orchids, which produce a shoot meristem, pyroloids first generate a root meristem.
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Background and AimsIdentifying the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity requires understanding of how evolutionary processes interact with abiotic conditions to structure communities. Edaphic gradients are strongly associated with floristic patterns but, compared with climatic gradients, have received relatively little attention. We asked (1) How does the phylogenetic composition of palm communities vary along edaphic gradients within major habitat types' and (2) To what extent are phylogenetic patterns determined by (a) habitat specialists, (b) small versus large palms, and (c) hyperdiverse genera'MethodsWe paired data on palm community composition from 501 transects of 0.25 ha located in two main habitat types (non-inundated uplands and seasonally inundated floodplains) in western Amazonian rain forests with information on soil chemistry, climate, phylogeny and metrics of plant size. We focused on exchangeable base concentration (cmol+ kg−1) as a metric of soil fertility and a floristic index of inundation intensity. We used a null model approach to quantify the standard effect size of mean phylogenetic distance for each transect (a metric of phylogenetic community composition) and related this value to edaphic variables using generalized linear mixed models, including a term for spatial autocorrelation.Key ResultsOverall, we recorded 112 008 individuals belonging to 110 species. Palm communities in non-inundated upland transects (but not floodplain transects) were more phylogenetically clustered in areas of low soil fertility, measured as exchangeable base concentration. In contrast, floodplain transects with more severe flood regimes (as inferred from floristic structure) tended to be phylogenetically clustered. Nearly half of the species recorded (44 %) were upland specialists while 18 % were floodplain specialists. In both habitat types, phylogenetic clustering was largely due to the co-occurrence of small-sized habitat specialists belonging to two hyperdiverse genera (Bactris and Geonoma).ConclusionsEdaphic conditions are associated with the phylogenetic community structure of palms across western Amazonia, and different factors (specifically, soil fertility and inundation intensity) appear to underlie diversity patterns in non-inundated upland versus floodplain habitats. By linking edaphic gradients with palm community phylogenetic structure, our study reinforces the need to integrate edaphic conditions in eco-evolutionary studies in order to better understand the processes that generate and maintain tropical forest diversity. Our results suggest a role for edaphic niche conservatism in the evolution and distribution of Amazonian palms, a finding with potential relevance for other clades.
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Background and AimsFor symbiotic organisms, their colonization and spread across remote oceanic islands should favour generalists. Plants that form obligate symbiotic associations with microbes dominate island ecosystems, but the relationship between island inhabitance and symbiotic specificity is unclear, especially in the tropics. To fill this gap, we examined the mycorrhizal specificity of the Hawaiian endemic orchid Anoectochilus sandvicensis across multiple populations encompassing its entire geographic distribution.MethodsBy molecular phylogenetic approaches we identified the mycorrhizal fungi associated with A. sandvicensis across its entire geographic distribution and determined the relationship of these fungi to others found elsewhere around the globe. With richness estimators, we assessed the mycorrhizal specificity of A. sandvicensis within and among islands. We then tested whether geographic proximity of orchid populations was a significant predictor for the presence of particular mycorrhizal fungi and their community composition.Key ResultsWe found that each population of A. sandvicensis forms specific associations with one of three fungi in the genus Ceratobasidium and that the closest relatives of these fungi are globally widespread. Based on diversity indices, A. sandvicensis populations were estimated to partner with one to four mycorrhizal taxa with an estimated total of four compatible mycorrhizal fungi across its entire distribution. However, the geographic proximity of orchid populations was not a significant predictor of mycorrhizal fungal community composition.ConclusionsOur findings indicate that the colonization and survival of plant species on even the most remote oceanic islands is not restricted to symbiotic generalists, and that partnering with few, but cosmopolitan microbial symbionts is an alternative means for successful island establishment. We suggest that the spatial distribution and abundance of symbionts in addition to island age, size and isolation should also be taken into consideration for predictions of island biodiversity.
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Background and AimsFlowers emit a wide range of volatile compounds which can be critically important to interactions with pollinators or herbivores. Yet most studies of how the environment influences plant volatiles focus on leaf emissions, with little known about abiotic sources of variation in floral volatiles. Understanding phenotypic plasticity in floral volatile emissions has become increasingly important with globally increasing temperatures and changes in drought frequency and severity. Here quantitative relationships of floral volatile emissions to soil water content were analysed.MethodsPlants of the sub-alpine herb Ipomopsis aggregata and hybrids with its closest congener were subjected to a progressive dry down, mimicking the range of soil moistures experienced in the field. Floral volatiles and leaf gas exchange were measured at four time points during the drought.Key ResultsAs the soil dried, floral volatile emissions increased overall and changed in composition, from more 1,3-octadiene and benzyl alcohol to higher representation of some terpenes. Emissions of individual compounds were not linearly related to volumetric water content in the soil. The dominant compound, the monoterpene α-pinene, made up the highest percentage of the scent mixture when soil moisture was intermediate. In contrast, emission of the sesquiterpene (E,E)-α-farnesene accelerated as the drought became more intense. Changes in floral volatiles did not track the time course of changes in photosynthetic rate or stomatal conductance.ConclusionsThis study shows responses of specific floral volatile organic compounds to soil moisture. The non-linear responses furthermore suggest that extreme droughts may have impacts that are not predictable from milder droughts. Floral volatiles are likely to change seasonally with early summer droughts in the Rocky Mountains, as well as over years as snowmelt becomes progressively earlier. Changes in water availability may have impacts on plant–animal interactions that are mediated through non-linear changes in floral volatiles.
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Background and Aims
Vandenboschia speciosa is a highly vulnerable fern species, with a large genome (10.5 Gb). Haploid gametophytes and diploid sporophytes are perennial, can reproduce vegetatively, and certain populations are composed only of independent gametophytes. These features make this fern a good model: (1) for high-throughput analysis of satellite DNA (satDNA) to investigate possible evolutionary trends in satDNA sequence features; (2) to determine the relative contribution of satDNA and other repetitive DNAs to its large genome; and (3) to analyse whether the reproduction mode or phase alternation between long-lasting haploid and diploid stages influences satDNA abundance or divergence.MethodsWe analysed the repetitive fraction of the genome of this species in three different populations (one comprised only of independent gametophytes) using Illumina sequencing and bioinformatic analysis with RepeatExplorer and satMiner.Key ResultsThe satellitome of V. speciosa is composed of 11 satDNA families, most of them showing a short repeat length and being A + T rich. Some satDNAs had complex repeats composed of sub-repeats, showing high similarity to shorter satDNAs. Three families had particular structural features and highly conserved motifs. SatDNA only amounts to approx. 0.4 % of its genome. Likewise, microsatellites do not represent more than 2 %, but transposable elements (TEs) represent approx. 50 % of the sporophytic genomes. We found high resemblance in satDNA abundance and divergence between both gametophyte and sporophyte samples from the same population and between populations.Conclusions(1) Longer (and older) satellites in V. speciosa have a higher A + T content and evolve from shorter ones and, in some cases, microsatellites were a source of new satDNAs; (2) the satellitome does not explain the huge genome size in this species while TEs are the major repetitive component of the V. speciosa genome and mostly contribute to its large genome; and (3) reproduction mode or phase alternation between gametophytes and sporophytes does not entail accumulation or divergence of satellites.
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Background and AimsIn seed plants, stomata regulate CO2 acquisition and water relations via transpiration, while minimizing water loss. Walls of guard cells are strong yet flexible because they open and close the pore by changing shape over the substomatal cavity. Pectins are necessary for wall flexibility and proper stomata functioning. This study investigates the differences in pectin composition in guard cells of two taxa that represent key lineages of plants with stomata: Arabidopsis, an angiosperm with diurnal stomatal activity, and Phaeoceros, a bryophyte that lacks active stomatal movement.MethodsUsing immunolocalization techniques in transmission electron microscopy, this study describes and compares the localization of pectin molecule epitopes essential to stomata function in guard cell walls of Arabidopsis and Phaeoceros.Key ResultsIn Arabidopsis, unesterified homogalacturonans very strongly localize throughout guard cell walls and are interspersed with arabinan pectins, while methyl-esterified homogalacturonans are restricted to the exterior of the wall, the ledges and the junction with adjacent epidermal cells. In contrast, arabinans are absent in Phaeoceros, and both unesterified and methyl-esterified homogalacturonans localize throughout guard cell walls.ConclusionsArabinans and unesterified homogalacturonans are required for wall flexibility, which is consistent with active regulation of pore opening in Arabidopsis stomata. In contrast, the lack of arabinans and high levels of methyl-esterified homogalacturonans in guard cell walls of Phaeoceros are congruent with the inability of hornwort stomata to open and close with environmental change. Comparisons across groups demonstrate that variations in guard cell wall composition reflect different physiological activity of stomata in land plants.
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