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Stomata are dynamic pores in the impermeable cuticle that coats the aerial parts of vascular plants, allowing the entry of CO2 for photosynthesis and controlling water loss. They are composed of two guard cells that can swell or shrink due to an increase or decrease in their osmotic pressure, respectively. Swelling opens the stomata and shrinking closes the stomata. For more than a century, scientists have been working to uncover the nature of the osmolytes that modulate osmotic pressure in guard cells. Recent discoveries have undermined long-standing theories in this area, reversing the understood roles of sugars and demonstrating the evolution of scientific theories. Here, we describe the evolution of guard-cell osmoregulation theories with an emphasis on the role of sugars.

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Evolution of Guard-Cell Theories: The Story of Sugars
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Evolution of Guard-Cell Theories: The Story of Sugars

Stomata are dynamic pores in the impermeable cuticle that coats the aerial parts of vascular plants, allowing the entry of CO2 for photosynthesis and controlling water loss. They are composed of two guard cells that can swell or shrink due to an increase or decrease in their osmotic pressure, respectively. Swelling opens the stomata and shrinking closes the stomata. For more than a century, scientists have been working to uncover the nature of the osmolytes that modulate osmotic pressure in guard cells. Recent discoveries have undermined long-standing theories in this area, reversing the understood roles of sugars and demonstrating the evolution of scientific theories. Here, we describe the evolution of guard-cell osmoregulation theories with an emphasis on the role of sugars.

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