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Mesophyll porosity is modulated by the presence of functional stomata

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  • Marjorie Lundgren
  • Andrew Mathers
  • Alice L. Baillie
  • Jessica Dunn
  • Matthew Wilson
  • Lee Hunt
  • Radoslaw Pajor
  • Marc Fradera-Soler
  • Stephen Rolfe
  • Colin P. Osborne
  • Craig J. Sturrock
  • Julie E Gray
  • Sacha J. Mooney
  • Andrew J. Fleming
Article number2825
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>27/06/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Communications
Number of pages10
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The formation of stomata and leaf mesophyll airspace must be coordinated to establish an efficient and robust network that facilitates gas exchange for photosynthesis, however the mechanism by which this coordinated development occurs remains unclear. Here, we combine microCT and gas exchange analyses with measures of stomatal size and patterning in a range of wild, domesticated and transgenic lines of wheat and Arabidopsis to show that mesophyll airspace formation is linked to stomatal function in both monocots and eudicots. Our results support the hypothesis that gas flux via stomatal pores influences the degree and spatial patterning of mesophyll airspace formation, and indicate that this relationship has been selected for during the evolution of modern wheat. We propose that the coordination of stomata and mesophyll airspace pattern underpins water use efficiency in crops, providing a target for future improvement.