Grantham Scholar Ligia Bertolino publishes Impact of Stomatal Density and Morphology on Water-Use Efficiency in a Changing World. This paper reviews the relation between water efficiency and stomata.
Global warming and associated precipitation changes will negatively impact many agricultural ecosystems. For instance, food production areas will have less water and more drought in the near future. As a result, there will be a reduction of important food crops. Therefore, the development of crop varieties able to sustain or improve yields with less water is a priority for crop research.
One focus for crop research is the stomatal pores on leaves. Almost all water used for plant growth is by transpiration through stomatal pores on the leaf epidermis. However, there is surprisingly little known about the stomata of crop species.
A new paper from Ligia Bertolino attempts to redress this lack of knowledge. Impact of Stomatal Density and Morphology on Water-Use Efficiency in a Changing World reviews current understanding of how stomatal number and morphology are involved in regulating water-use efficiency. Moreover, it discusses the potential and limitations of manipulating stomatal development to increase drought tolerance and to reduce water loss in crops as the climate changes. Read the paper here.