Molecular Evolution of Grass Stomata

Zhong Hua Chen, Guang Chen, Fei Dai, Yizhou Wang, Adrian Hills, Yong Ling Ruan, Guoping Zhang, Peter J. Franks, Eviatar Nevo, Michael R. Blatt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Grasses began to diversify in the late Cretaceous Period and now dominate more than one third of global land area, including three-quarters of agricultural land. We hypothesize that their success is likely attributed to the evolution of highly responsive stomata capable of maximizing productivity in rapidly changing environments. Grass stomata harness the active turgor control mechanisms present in stomata of more ancient plant lineages, maximizing several morphological and developmental features to ensure rapid responses to environmental inputs. The evolutionary development of grass stomata appears to have been a gradual progression. Therefore, understanding the complex structures, developmental events, regulatory networks, and combinations of ion transporters necessary to drive rapid stomatal movement may inform future efforts towards breeding new crop varieties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-139
Number of pages16
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • comparative genomics
  • guard cell modeling
  • ion transporters
  • stomatal development
  • stomatal evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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