DDD Conference

Prof. Menachem Moshelion

Out of the Blue: Phototropins of the Leaf Vascular Bundle Sheath Mediate the Regulation of Leaf Hydraulic Conductance by Blue Light

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

The Arabidopsis leaf veins bundle sheath cells (BSCs) – a selective barrier to water and solutes entering the mesophyll – increase the leaf radial hydraulic conductance (Kleaf) by acidifying the xylem sap by their plasma membrane H+-ATPase, AHA2. Based on this and on the BSCs’ expression of PHOT1 and PHOT2, and the known blue-light (BL)-induced Kleaf increase, we hypothesized that, resembling the guard cells, BL perception by the BSCs’ phots activates its H+-ATPase, which, consequently, upregulates Kleaf. Indeed, under BL, the Kleaf of the knockout mutant lines phot1-5, phot2-1, phot1-5phot2-1, and aha2-4 was lower than that of the WT. BSC-only-directed complementation of phot1-5 or aha2-4 by PHOT1 or AHA2, respectively, restored the BL-induced Kleaf increase. BSC-specific silencing of PHOT1 or PHOT2 prevented such Kleaf increase. A xylem-fed kinase inhibitor (tyrphostin 9) replicated this also in WT plants. White light – ineffective in the phot1-5 mutant – acidified the xylem sap (relative to darkness) in WT and in the PHOT1-complemented phot1-5. These results, supported by BL increase of BSC protoplasts’ water permeability and cytosolic pH and their hyperpolarization by BL, identify the BSCs as a second phot-controlled water conductance element in leaves, in series with stomatal conductance. Through both, BL regulates the leaf water balance.

 

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