Regulating the stomatal aperture to adapt to environmental changes is critical for plants as stomatal guard cells are responsible for gas exchange between plants and the atmosphere. We previously showed that a plant-specific DNA-binding with one finger (Dof)-type transcription factor, SCAP1, functions as a key regulator in the final stages of guard cell differentiation. In the present study, we performed deletion and gain-of-function analyses with the 5′ flanking region of SCAP1 to identify the regulatory region controlling the guard cell-specific expression of SCAP1. The results revealed that two cis-acting elements, 5′-CACGAGA-3′ and 5′-CACATGTTTCCC-3′, are crucial for the guard cell-specific expression of SCAP1. Consistently, when an 80-bp promoter region including these two cis-elements was fused to a gene promoter that is not active in guard cells, it functioned as a promoter that directed gene expression in guard cells. Furthermore, the promoter region of HT1 encoding the central regulator of stomatal CO2 signaling was also found to contain a 5′-CACGAGA-3′ sequence, which was confirmed to function as a cis-element necessary for guard cell-specific expression of HT1. These findings suggest the existence of a novel transcriptional regulatory mechanism that synchronously promotes the expression of multiple genes required for the stomatal maturation and function.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology