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Reduced blue light irradiance is known to enhance leaf elongation rate (LER) in grasses, but the mechanisms involved have not yet been elucidated. We investigated whether leaf elongation response to reduced blue light could be mediated by stomata-induced variations of plant transpiration. Two experiments were carried out on tall fescue in order to monitor LER and transpiration under reduced blue light irradiance. Additionally, LER dynamics were compared with those observed in the response to vapour pressure deficit (VPD)-induced variations of transpiration. Finally, we developed a model of water flow within a tiller to simulate the observed short-term response of LER to various transpiration regimes. LER dramatically increased in response to blue light reduction and then reached new steady states, which remained higher than the control. Reduced blue light triggered a simultaneous stomatal closure which induced an immediate decrease of leaf transpiration. The hydraulic model of leaf elongation accurately predicted the LER response to blue light and VPD, resulting from an increase in the growth-induced water potential gradient in the leaf growth zone. Our results suggest that the blue light signal is sensed by stomata of expanded leaves and transduced to the leaf growth zone through the hydraulic architecture of the tiller. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:


Romain Barillot, Tom De Swaef, Didier Combes, Jean-Louis Durand, Abraham J Escobar-Gutiérrez, Pierre Martre, Cédric Perrot, Eric Roy, Elzbieta Frak. Leaf elongation response to blue light is mediated by stomatal-induced variations in transpiration in Festuca arundinacea. Journal of experimental botany. 2021 Mar 29;72(7):2642-2656

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PMID: 33326568

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