Circadian rhythms in stomatal responsiveness to red and blue light

Holly L. Gorton, William E. Williams, Sarah M. Assmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Stomata of many plants have circadian rhythms in responsiveness to environmental cues as well as circadian rhythms in aperture. Stomatal responses to red light and blue light are mediated by photosynthetic photoreceptors; responses to blue light are additionally controlled by a specific blue-light photoreceptor. This paper describes circadian rhythmic aspects of stomatal responsiveness to red and blue light in Vicia faba. Plants were exposed to a repeated light:dark regime of 1.5:2.5 h for a total of 48 h, and because the plants could not entrain to this short light:dark cycle, circadian rhythms were able to "free run" as if in continuous light. The rhythm in the stomatal conductance established during the 1.5-h light periods was caused both by a rhythm in sensitivity to light and by a rhythm in the stomatal conductance established during the preceding 2.5-h dark periods. Both rhythms peaked during the middle of the subjective day. Although the stomatal response to blue light is greater than the response to red light at all times of day, there was no discernible difference in period, phase, or amplitude of the rhythm in sensitivity to the two light qualities. We observed no circadian rhythmicity in net carbon assimilation with the 1.5:2.5 h light regime for either red or blue light. In continuous white light, small rhythmic changes in photo-synthetic assimilation were observed, but at relatively high light levels, and these appeared to be attributable largely to changes in internal CO2 availability governed by stomatal conductance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-406
Number of pages8
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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