Tomato–: the role of stomataPseudomonas syringae: the role of stomata interactions under elevated CO: the role of stomata2: the role of stomata concentration: the role of stomata

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Increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) in agricultural and natural ecosystems is known to reduce plant stomatal opening, but it is unclear whether these CO2-induced stomatal alterations are associated with foliar pathogen infections. In this study, tomato plants were grown under ambient and elevated [CO2] and inoculated with Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000, a strain that is virulent on tomato plants. We found that elevated [CO2] enhanced tomato defence against P. syringae. Scanning electron microscopy analysis revealed that stomatal aperture of elevated [CO2] plants was considerably smaller than their ambient counterparts, which affected the behaviour of P. syringae bacteria on the upper surface of epidermal peels. Pharmacological experiments revealed that nitric oxide (NO) played a role in elevated [CO2]-induced stomatal closure. Silencing key genes involved in NO generation and stomatal closing, nitrate reductase (NR) and guard cell slow-type anion channel 1 (SLAC1), blocked elevated [CO2]-induced stomatal closure and resulted in significant increases in P. syringae infection. However, the SLAC1-silenced plants, but not the NR-silenced plants, still had significantly higher defence under elevated [CO2] compared with plants treated with ambient [CO2]. Similar results were obtained when the stomata-limiting factor for P. syringae entry was excluded by syringe infiltration inoculation. These results indicate that elevated [CO2] induces defence against P. syringae in tomato plants, not only by reducing the stomata-mediated entry of P. syringae but also by invoking a stomata-independent pathway to counteract P. syringae. This information is valuable for designing proper strategies against bacterial pathogens under changing agricultural and natural ecosystems.

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