GABA signalling modulates stomatal opening to enhance plant water use efficiency and drought resilience

Journal: Nature Communications

Published: 2021-03-29

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-21694-3

Affiliations: 6

Authors: 12

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Research Highlight

GABA helps plants endure droughts

© enviromantic/E+/Getty Images

© enviromantic/E+/Getty Images

The molecule GABA enables plants to endure droughts longer since it initiates a previously unknown water-saving mechanism.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid, better known as GABA, is a non-protein amino acid that is part of a key signalling pathway in both plants and animals. Plants accumulate GABA when stressed, but the protein’s precise mode of operation in plants had been unclear.

Now, a team led by researchers at the University of Adelaide in South Australia has shown how the accumulation of GABA in water-stressed plants causes them to narrow the pores in their leaves, resulting in reduced loss of water through the pores.

The discovery could help scientists to make crops and plants more resilient to drought, which are expected to become more common due to climate change.

Supported content

  1. Nature Communications 12, 1952 (2021) doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-21694-3
Institutions Share
The University of Adelaide (Adelaide Uni), Australia 0.63
CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Australia 0.17
University of Würzburg (JMU), Germany 0.17
Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU), China 0.04