Grass stomata can balance gas exchange and evaporation effectively in rapidly changing environments via their unique anatomical features. Although the key components of stomatal development in Arabidopsis have been largely elucidated over the past decade, the molecular mechanisms that govern stomatal development in grasses are poorly understood. Via the genome editing system and T-DNA insertion lines, the key transcriptional factors (TFs) regulating stomatal development in rice (Oryza sativa) were knocked out. A combination of genetic and biochemical assays subsequently revealed the functions of these TFs. OsSPCH/OsICE is essential for the initiation of stomatal lineage. OsMUTE/OsICE determines meristemoid to guard mother cell (GMC) transition. OsFAMA/OsICE influences subsidiary mother cell asymmetric division and mature stoma differentiation. OsFLP regulates the orientation of GMC symmetrical division. More importantly, we found that OsSCR/OsSHR controls the initiation of stomatal lineage cells and the formation of subsidiary cells. The transcription of OsSCR is activated by OsSPCH and OsMUTE. This study characterised the functions of master regulatory TFs that control each stomatal developmental stage in rice. Our findings are helpful for elucidating how various species reprogramme the molecular mechanisms to generate different stomatal types during evolution.
Keywords: cell differentiation; cell division; rice; stomata; transcriptional factor.
© 2019 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2019 New Phytologist Trust.