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Reducing Stomatal Density in Barley Improves Drought Tolerance without Impacting on Yield.

Authors
  • Hughes, Jon1, 2, 3
  • Hepworth, Christopher1, 2, 3
  • Dutton, Chris1, 2, 3
  • Dunn, Jessica A1, 2, 3
  • Hunt, Lee1, 2, 3
  • Stephens, Jennifer1, 2, 3
  • Waugh, Robbie1, 2, 3
  • Cameron, Duncan D1, 2, 3
  • Gray, Julie E4, 5, 6
  • 1 Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom (J.H., C.D., J.A.D., L.H., J.E.G.). , (United Kingdom)
  • 2 Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom (C.H., D.D.C.); and. , (United Kingdom)
  • 3 The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee AB15 8QH, Scotland (J.S., R.W.).
  • 4 Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom (J.H., C.D., J.A.D., L.H., J.E.G.); [email protected] , (United Kingdom)
  • 5 Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, United Kingdom (C.H., D.D.C.); and [email protected] , (United Kingdom)
  • 6 The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee AB15 8QH, Scotland (J.S., R.W.) [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Plant physiology
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2017
Volume
174
Issue
2
Pages
776–787
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1104/pp.16.01844
PMID: 28461401
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The epidermal patterning factor (EPF) family of secreted signaling peptides regulate the frequency of stomatal development in model dicot and basal land plant species. Here, we identify and manipulate the expression of a barley (Hordeum vulgare) ortholog and demonstrate that when overexpressed HvEPF1 limits entry to, and progression through, the stomatal development pathway. Despite substantial reductions in leaf gas exchange, barley plants with significantly reduced stomatal density show no reductions in grain yield. In addition, HvEPF1OE barley lines exhibit significantly enhanced water use efficiency, drought tolerance, and soil water conservation properties. Our results demonstrate the potential of manipulating stomatal frequency for the protection and optimization of cereal crop yields under future drier environments. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

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