The role of microtubules in guard cell function

A. I. Marcus, R. C. Moore, R. J. Cyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Guard cells are able to sense a multitude of environmental signals and appropriately adjust the stomatal pore to regulate gas exchange in and out of the leaf. The role of the microtubule cytoskeleton during these stomatal movements has been debated. To help resolve this debate, in vivo stomatal aperture assays with different microtubule inhibitors were performed. We observed that guard cells expressing the microtubule-binding green fluorescent fusion protein (green fluorescent protein::microtubule binding domain) fail to open for all major environmental triggers of stomatal opening. Furthermore, guard cells treated with the anti-microtubule drugs, propyzamide, oryzalin, and trifluralin also failed to open under the same environmental conditions. The inhibitory conditions caused by green fluorescent protein::microtubule binding domain and these anti-microtubule drugs could be reversed using the proton pump activator, fusicoccin. Therefore, we conclude that microtubules are involved in an upstream event prior to the ionic fluxes leading to stomatal opening. In a mechanistic manner, evidence is presented to implicate a microtubule-associated protein in this putative microtubule-based signal transduction event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of microtubules in guard cell function'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this