An Induction System for Clustered Stomata by Sugar Solution Immersion Treatment in Arabidopsis thaliana Seedlings

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Stomatal movement mediates plant gas exchange, which is essential for photosynthesis and transpiration. Stomatal opening and closing are accomplished by a significant increase and decrease in guard cell volume, respectively. Because shuttle transport of ions and water occurs between guard cells and larger neighboring epidermal cells during stomatal movement, the spaced distribution of plant stomata is considered an optimal distribution for stomatal movement. Experimental systems for perturbing the spaced pattern of stomata are useful to examine the spacing pattern's significance. Several key genes associated with the spaced stomatal distribution have been identified, and clustered stomata can be experimentally induced by altering these genes. Alternatively, clustered stomata can be also induced by exogenous treatments without genetic modification. In this article, we describe a simple induction system for clustered stomata in Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings by immersion treatment with a sucrose-containing medium solution. Our method is easy and directly applicable to transgenic or mutant lines. Larger chloroplasts are presented as a cell biological hallmark of sucrose-induced clustered guard cells. In addition, a representative confocal microscopic image of cortical microtubules is shown as an example of intracellular observation of clustered guard cells. The radial orientation of cortical microtubules is maintained in clustered guard cells as in spaced guard cells in control conditions.