Microarray analysis was performed on RNA isolated from guard cells that were manually dissected from leaves of Arabidopsis. By pooling our data with those of two earlier studies on Arabidopsis guard cell protoplasts, we provide a robust view of the guard-cell transcriptome, which is rich in transcripts for transcription factors, signaling proteins, transporters, and carbohydrate-modifying enzymes. To test the hypothesis that photosynthesis-derived sugar signals guard cells to adjust stomatal opening, we determined the profile of genes expressed in guard cells from leaves that had been treated with sucrose. The results revealed that expression of 440 genes changed in guard cells in response to sucrose. Consistent with this hypothesis, these genes encoded cellular functions for photosynthesis and transport of sugars, water, amino acids, and ions. Plants of T-DNA insertion lines for 50 genes highly responsive to sucrose were examined for defects in guard cell function. Twelve genes not previously known to function in guard cells were shown to be important in leaf conductance, water-use efficiency, and/or stomate development. Of these, three are of particular interest, having shown effects in nearly every test of stomatal function without a change in stomatal density: TPS5 (At4g17770), a TRAF domain-containing protein (At1g65370), and a WD repeat-containing protein (At1g15440).
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