Ionic control of the lateral exchange of water between vascular bundles in tomato
Ions can enhance water flow through the xylem via changes in the hydraulic resistance at border pit membranes. Because flow between adjacent xylem vessels occurs primarily via bordered pit fields, it is hypothesized that xylem sap ion concentrations would affect lateral movement of water more than longitudinal flow. Using tomato as a model system, evidence is presented for ion-mediated changes in xylem hydraulic resistance and the lateral transport of water. Water flow between adjacent xylem bundles increased by approximately 50% in the presence of ions while longitudinal flow only increased by approximately 20%. However, the enhancement of lateral exchange due to ions was magnified by the presence of a pressure difference between vascular bundles. These results indicate that the degree of nutrient-sharing among sectors of a plant may depend on both nutrient concentration and the availability of water in the root zone.
Journal of Experimental Botany
Zwieniecki, Maciej A.; Orians, Colin M.; Melcher, Peter J.; and Holbrook, N. Michele, "Ionic control of the lateral exchange of water between vascular bundles in tomato" (2003). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 2098.