Hydrogen sulphide (H(2) S) has been proposed as the third gasotransmitter. In animal cells, H(2) S has been implicated in several physiological processes. H(2) S is endogenously synthesized in both animals and plants by enzymes with l-Cys desulphydrase activity in the conversion of l-Cys to H(2) S, pyruvate and ammonia. The participation of H(2) S in both stomatal movement regulation and abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent induction of stomatal closure was studied in epidermal strips of three plant species (Vicia faba, Arabidopsis thaliana and Impatiens walleriana). The effect of H(2) S on stomatal movement was contrasted with leaf relative water content (RWC) measurements of whole plants subjected to water stress. In this work we report that exogenous H(2) S induces stomatal closure and this effect is impaired by the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter inhibitor glibenclamide; scavenging H(2) S or inhibition of the enzyme responsible for endogenous H(2) S synthesis partially blocks ABA-dependent stomatal closure; and H(2) S treatment increases RWC and protects plants against drought stress. Our results indicate that H(2) S induces stomatal closure and participates in ABA-dependent signalling, possibly through the regulation of ABC transporters in guard cells.
© The Authors (2010). Journal compilation © New Phytologist Trust (2010).