Novel Compounds that Keep Plant Fresh: Controlling Stomatal Aperture

Technology Overview

Stomata are small pores present on the surface of leaves, which are opened or closed under the control of a pair of guard cells for gas exchange with the atmosphere. Through these pores, plants uptake the carbon dioxide necessary for photosynthesis and release water by transpiration, which enhances uptake of nutrients from the roots. Therefore, regulation of stomatal openings is essential for plant growth as well as survival in response to various environmental conditions.

Through random screening of a chemical library of over 20,000 compounds, the technology provider has succeeded in finding new compounds that can control stomatal opening in plants. Analysis of stomatal closing compounds (SCLs) revealed that they inhibit the signaling components between the blue light receptor phototropin and the plasma membrane proton ATPase (PM H+ -ATPase), thus inhibiting light-induced activation of PM H+ -ATPase and leading to suppression of stomatal opening. Some of the compounds have shown to prevent leaves from drying up and suppress wilting when sprayed onto rose and oat leaves. The beauty of a chemistry-based approach instead of classical genetic techniques is that SCLs can be applied very easily to all plants. It also circumvents GMOs regulation.

Technology Features & Specifications

Using the company's unique “stomatal aperture regulation” concept, SCLs can be applied to almost all plants for:

1. Freshness extension of the cut flower
2. Transportation cost reduction of plants

But the formula of SCL solvent should be considered because each leaf surface condition is varied and SCL should be permeated into leaf cells.

This company is also developing food-grade solvents.

Potential Applications

SCLs are not tested on the real product in the market. However, the researcher tested SCL’s effect on flowers in the real cold-chain logistics. SCL showed positive effects.

Customer Benefits

The benefits of this technology include:

1. The customer does not need to rely on the classical genetic method in preserving the freshness of their plant/ fruit crops
2. This technology can easily help to increase the drought tolerance of a plant

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