Q.17:- What causes the opening and closing of guard cells of stomata during transpiration?
Transpiration is the evaporative loss of water by plants. It occurs mainly through the stomata in the leaves. The immediate cause of the opening or closing of the stomata is change in the turgidity of the guard cells. The inner wall of each of the guard cells, towards the pore or stomatal aperture, is thick and elastic. When turgidity increases within the two guard cells flanking each stomatal aperture or pore, the thin outer walls bulge out and force the inner walls into a crescent shape and thus the stomata opens. The opening of the stoma is also aided due to the orientation of the microfibrils in the cell walls of the guard cells. Cellulose microfibrils are oriented radially rather than longitudinally making it easier for the stoma to open. When the guard cells lose turgor, due to water loss (or water stress) the elastic inner walls regain their original shape, the guard cells become flaccid and the stoma closes.