Atmospheric H2S exposure does not affect stomatal aperture in maize

Ties Ausma, Jeffrey Mulder, Thomas R. Polman, Casper J. van der Kooi, Luit J. De Kok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Main conclusion: Stomatal aperture in maize is not affected by exposure to a subtoxic concentration of atmospheric H2S. At least in maize, H2S, thus, is not a gaseous signal molecule that controls stomatal aperture. Abstract: Sulfur is an indispensable element for the physiological functioning of plants with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) potentially acting as gasotransmitter in the regulation of stomatal aperture. It is often assumed that H2S is metabolized into cysteine to stimulate stomatal closure. To study the significance of H2S for the regulation of stomatal closure, maize was exposed to a subtoxic atmospheric H2S level in the presence or absence of a sulfate supply to the root. Similar to other plants, maize could use H2S as a sulfur source for growth. Whereas sulfate-deprived plants had a lower biomass than sulfate-sufficient plants, exposure to H2S alleviated this growth reduction. Shoot sulfate, glutathione, and cysteine levels were significantly higher in H2S-fumigated plants compared to non-fumigated plants. Nevertheless, this was not associated with changes in the leaf area, stomatal density, stomatal resistance, and transpiration rate of plants, meaning that H2S exposure did not affect the transpiration rate per stoma. Hence, it did not affect stomatal aperture, indicating that, at least in maize, H2S is not a gaseous signal molecule controlling this aperture.
Original languageEnglish
Article number63
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • air pollution
  • gasotransmitter
  • signal molecule
  • stomata
  • sulfur metabolism
  • transpiration


Dive into the research topics of 'Atmospheric H2S exposure does not affect stomatal aperture in maize'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this