A novel role for STOMATAL CARPENTER 1 in stomata patterning.

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Guard cells (GCs) are specialised cells within the plant epidermis which form stomatal pores, through which gas exchange can occur. The GCs derive through a specialised lineage of cell divisions which is specified by the transcription factor SPEECHLESS (SPCH), the expression of which can be detected in undifferentiated epidermal cells prior to asymmetric division. Other transcription factors may act before GC specification and be required for correct GC patterning. Previously, the DOF transcription factor STOMATAL CARPENTER 1 (SCAP1) was shown to be involved in GC function, by activating a set of GC-specific genes required for GC maturation and activity. It is thus far unknown whether SCAP1 can also affect stomatal development.