Guard Cell Physiology
Is there any reason for plant guard cells to have
chlorophyll even though light is hard to reach the lower part of the plant?
Found this article that might be helpful:
Anthony R. Brach, PhD
Missouri Botanical Garden
c/o Harvard University Herbaria
I might rephrase your question and ask, is there a reason to have chloroplasts
in guard cells? Guard cells have a specialized function in the leaf, as you
know, and the presence of chloroplasts and their unique biochemistry in guard
cells may support that function better than a cell lacking chloroplasts.
Alternatively, even though light intensity is attenuated by the leaf mesophyll
cells and guard cells are typically found on the undersides of the leaf, there
can be sufficient light intensity to drive photosynthesis above the compensation
Jim Tokuhisa, Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012