The Stomatal Flexoskeleton: How the Biomechanics of Guard Cell Walls Animate an Elastic Pressure Vessel

Hojae Yi, Yintong Chen, James Z. Wang, Virendra M. Puri, and Charles T. Anderson
The Pennsylvania State University


In plants, stomatal guard cells are one of the most dynamic cell types, rapidly changing their shape and size in response to environmental and intrinsic signals to control gas exchange at the plant surface. Quantitative and systematic knowledge of the biomechanical underpinnings of stomatal dynamics will enable strategies to optimize stomatal responsiveness and improve plant productivity by enhancing the efficiency of photosynthesis and water use. Recent developments in microscopy, mechanical measurements, and computational modeling have revealed new insights into the biomechanics of stomatal regulation and the genetic, biochemical, and structural origins of how plants achieve rapid and reliable stomatal function by tuning the mechanical properties of their guard cell walls. This review compares historical and recent experimental and modeling studies of the biomechanics of stomatal complexes, highlighting commonalities and contrasts between older and newer studies. Key gaps in our understanding of stomatal functionality are also presented, along with assessments of potential methods that could bridge those gaps.

Full Paper
(PDF, 1MB)

Full Paper
(PDF; publisher site)

Citation: Hojae Yi, Yingtong Chen, James Z. Wang, Virendra M. Puri and Charles T. Anderson, ``The Stomatal Flexoskeleton: How the Biomechanics of Guard Cell Walls Animate an Elastic Pressure Vessel,'' Journal of Experimental Botany, Special Issue on Plant Biomechanics in the 21st Century, vol. 70, no. 14, pp. 3561-3572, 2019.

© 2019 Oxford University Press. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works, must be obtained from the publisher.

Last Modified: November 25, 2019
© 2019