The way in which plants space out the pores through which they breathe depends on keeping a protein active during stem cell growth, according to John Innes Centre scientists.
Plant pores, called stomata, are essential for life. When they evolved about 400 million years ago, they helped plants conquer the land. Plants absorb carbon dioxide through stomata and release oxygen and water vapour as part of the Earth’s carbon and water cycles.
Stomata need to be evenly spaced to maximise breathing capacity. But how they establish an even spatial pattern during plant growth has been a mystery.