• abscisic acid;
  • Atrboh;
  • ethylene;
  • H2O2;
  • guard cells;
  • signalling;
  • stomata


Ethylene is a plant hormone that regulates many aspects of growth and development. Despite the well-known association between ethylene and stress signalling, its effects on stomatal movements are largely unexplored. Here, genetic and physiological data are provided that position ethylene into the Arabidopsis guard cell signalling network, and demonstrate a functional link between ethylene and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). In wild-type leaves, ethylene induces stomatal closure that is dependent on H2O2 production in guard cells, generated by the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate hydrogen (NADPH) oxidase AtrbohF. Ethylene-induced closure is inhibited by the ethylene antagonists 1-MCP and silver. The ethylene receptor mutants etr1–1 and etr1–3 are insensitive to ethylene in terms of stomatal closure and H2O2 production. Stomata of the ethylene signalling ein2–1 and arr2 mutants do not close in response to either ethylene or H2O2 but do generate H2O2 following ethylene challenge. Thus, the data indicate that ethylene and H2O2 signalling in guard cells are mediated by ETR1 via EIN2 and ARR2-dependent pathway(s), and identify AtrbohF as a key mediator of stomatal responses to ethylene.