Stomatal guard cells play a key role in gas exchange for photosynthesis and in minimizing transpirational water loss from plants by opening and closing the stomatal pore. The bulk of the osmotic content driving stomatal movements depends on ionic fluxes across both the plasma membrane and tonoplast, the metabolism of organic acids, primarily Mal (Imitate), and its accumulation and loss. Anion channels at the plasma membrane are thought to comprise a major pathway for Mal efflux during stomatal closure, implicating their key role in linking solute flux with metabolism. Nonetheless, little is known of the regulation of anion channel current (I(Cl)) by cytosolic Mal or its immediate metabolite OAA (oxaloacetate). In the present study, we have examined the impact of Mal, OAA and of the monocarboxylic acid anion acetate in guard cells of Vicia faba L. and report that all three organic acids affect I(Cl), but with markedly different characteristics and sidedness to their activities. Most prominent was a suppression of I(Cl) by OAA within the physiological range of concentrations found in vivo. These findings indicate a capacity for OAA to co-ordinate organic acid metabolism with I(Cl), through the direct effect of organic acid pool size. The findings of the present study also add perspective to in vivo recordings using acetate-based electrolytes
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