Stomatal density is controlled by a mesophyll-derived signaling molecule

Tatsuhiko Kondo, Ryoko Kajita, Aya Miyazaki, Mayumi Hokoyama, Touko Nakamura-Miura, Satoko Mizuno, Yuichi Masuda, Kazuhiro Irie, Yuki Tanaka, Shinobu Takada, Tatsuo Kakimoto, Youji Sakagami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Stomata are composed of a pair of guard cells and a pore between them, and their density and positions are regulated by developmental and environmental signals. In a screen in which we overexpressed many genes coding for putative secretory proteins one by one in Arabidopsis, we identified a gene named STOMAGEN, which increases stomatal density when overexpressed. The STOMAGEN gene encodes a small peptide with a putative secretory signal sequence at its N-terminus and is expressed preferentially in mesophyll cells. This peptide belongs to the EPIDERMAL PATTERNING FACTOR (EPF) family of the cysteine-rich peptides superfamily. The mature form was a 45-amino-acid peptide (stomagen) with three intramolecular disulfide bonds. Stomagen treatment at very low concentrations, as low as 10 nM, increased the stomatal density of wild-type Arabidopsis plants. We propose that stomagen is a mesophyll-to-epidermis signaling molecule that positively regulates stomatal density. We also suggest that stomagen increases stomatal density by competing with negative regulators EPF1 and EPF2 for the receptor-like protein TOO MANY MOUTHS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Cell differentiation
  • Peptide hormone
  • Stomata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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