Models and Mechanisms of Stomatal Mechanics.

The mechanism of stomatal function (control of gas flux through the plant surface via regulation of pore size) is fundamentally mechanical. The material properties of the pore-forming guard cells must play a key role in setting the dynamics and degree of stomatal opening/closure, but our understanding of the molecular players involved and resultant mechanical performance has remained limited. The application of indentation techniques and computational modelling, combined with molecular tools for imaging and manipulating guard cells and their constituent cell walls, has opened the way to a systems approach to analysing this problem. The outcomes of these investigations have led to a reassessment of accepted paradigms and are providing a new understanding of the mechanism of stomatal mechanics.