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Type: Journal article
Title: Stomata actively regulate internal aeration of the sacred lotus Nelumbo nucifera
Author: Matthews, P.
Seymour, R.
Citation: Plant Cell and Environment, 2014; 37(2):402-413
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0140-7791
1365-3040
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Philip G. D. Matthews & Roger S. Seymour
Abstract: The sacred lotus Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn.) possesses a complex system of gas canals that channel pressurized air from its leaves, down through its petioles and rhizomes, before venting this air back to the atmosphere through large stomata found in the centre of every lotus leaf. These central plate stomata (CPS) lie over a gas canal junction that con- nects with two-thirds of the gas canals within the leaf blade and with the larger of two discrete pairs of gas canals within the petiole that join with those in the rhizome. It is hypoth- esized that the lotus actively regulates the pressure, direction and rate of airflow within its gas canals by opening and closing these stomata. Impression casting the CPS reveal that they are open in the morning, close at midday and reopen in the afternoon. The periodic closure of the CPS during the day coincides with a temporary reversal in airflow direction within the petiolar gas canals. Experiments show that the conductance of the CPS decreases in response to increasing light level. This behaviour ventilates the rhizome and pos- sibly directs benthic CO 2 towards photosynthesis in the leaves. These results demonstrate a novel function for stomata: the active regulation of convective airflow.
Keywords: convective airflow; flooding; gas canal; pressurization.
Rights: © 2013 John Wiley & Sons
RMID: 0020134279
DOI: 10.1111/pce.12163
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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