PLoS Biol 2016 Dec 6;14(12):e2000322. Epub 2016 Dec 6.
Institute of Technology, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.
Plant gas exchange is regulated by guard cells that form stomatal pores. Stomatal adjustments are crucial for plant survival; they regulate uptake of CO2 for photosynthesis, loss of water, and entrance of air pollutants such as ozone. We mapped ozone hypersensitivity, more open stomata, and stomatal CO2-insensitivity phenotypes of the Arabidopsis thaliana accession Cvi-0 to a single amino acid substitution in MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN (MAP) KINASE 12 (MPK12). In parallel, we showed that stomatal CO2-insensitivity phenotypes of a mutant cis (CO2-insensitive) were caused by a deletion of MPK12. Lack of MPK12 impaired bicarbonate-induced activation of S-type anion channels. We demonstrated that MPK12 interacted with the protein kinase HIGH LEAF TEMPERATURE 1 (HT1)-a central node in guard cell CO2 signaling-and that MPK12 functions as an inhibitor of HT1. These data provide a new function for plant MPKs as protein kinase inhibitors and suggest a mechanism through which guard cell CO2 signaling controls plant water management.