CLE peptides have been implicated in various developmental processes of plants and mediate their responses to environmental stimuli. However, the biological relevance of most CLE genes remains to be functionally characterized. Here, we report that CLE9, which is expressed in stomata, acts as an essential regulator in the induction of stomatal closure. Exogenous application of CLE9 peptides or overexpression of CLE9 effectively led to stomatal closure and enhanced drought tolerance, whereas CLE9 loss-of-function mutants were sensitivity to drought stress. CLE9-induced stomatal closure was impaired in abscisic acid (ABA)-deficient mutants, indicating that ABA is required for CLE9-medaited guard cell signalling. We further deciphered that two guard cell ABA-signalling components, OST1 and SLAC1, were responsible for CLE9-induced stomatal closure. MPK3 and MPK6 were activated by the CLE9 peptide, and CLE9 peptides failed to close stomata in mpk3 and mpk6 mutants. In addition, CLE9 peptides stimulated the induction of hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ) and nitric oxide (NO) synthesis associated with stomatal closure, which was abolished in the NADPH oxidase-deficient mutants or nitric reductase mutants, respectively. Collectively, our results reveal a novel ABA-dependent function of CLE9 in the regulation of stomatal apertures, thereby suggesting a potential role of CLE9 in the stress acclimatization of plants.
Keywords: ABA; CLE peptide; hydrogen peroxide; nitric oxide; stomatal closure.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.