Contrasting dynamics of water and mineral nutrients in stems shown by stable isotope tracers and cryo-SIMS.
ABSTRACT Lateral exchange of water and nutrients between xylem and surrounding tissues helps to de-couple uptake from utilization in all parts of a plant. We studied the dynamics of these exchanges, using stable isotope tracers for water (H(2)(18)O), magnesium ((26)Mg), potassium ((41)K) and calcium ((44)Ca) delivered via a cut stem for various periods to the transpiration stream of bean shoots (Phaseolus vulgaris cv. Fardenlosa Shiny). Tracers were subsequently mapped in stem cross-sections with cryo-secondary ion mass spectrometry. The water tracer equilibrated within minutes across the entire cross-section. In contrast, the nutrient tracers showed a very heterogeneous exchange between xylem vessels and the different stem tissues, even after 4 h. Dynamics of nutrients in the tissues revealed a fast and extensive exchange of nutrients in the xylem parenchyma, with, for example, calcium being completely replaced by tracer in less than 5 min. Dilution of potassium tracer during its 30 s transit in xylem sap through the stem showed that potassium concentration was up-regulated over many hours, to the extent that some of it was probably supplied by phloem recirculation from the shoot.
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ABSTRACT: One adaptation of plants to cope with drought or frost stress is to develop wood that is able to withstand the formation and distribution of air bubbles (emboli) in its water conducting xylem cells under negative pressure. The ultrastructure of interconduit pits strongly affects drought-induced embolism resistance, but also mechanical properties of the xylem are involved. The first experimental evidence for a lower embolism resistance in stems of herbaceous plants compared to stems of their secondarily woody descendants further supports this mechanical-functional trade-off. An integrative approach combining (ultra)structural observations of the xylem, safety-efficiency aspects of the hydraulic pipeline, and xylem-phloem interactions will shed more light on the multiple adaptive strategies of embolism resistance in plants.Current opinion in plant biology 02/2013; · 10.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To maintain cellular homeostasis, concentrations, chemical speciation, and localization of mineral nutrients and toxic trace elements need to be regulated. Imaging the cellular and subcellular localization of elements and measuring their in situ chemical speciation are challenging tasks that can be undertaken using synchrotron-based techniques, such as X-ray fluorescence and X-ray absorption spectrometry, and mass spectrometry-based techniques, such as secondary ion mass spectrometry and laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We review the advantages and limitations of these techniques, and discuss examples of their applications, which have revealed highly heterogeneous distribution patterns of elements in different cell types, often varying in chemical speciation. Combining these techniques with molecular genetic approaches can unravel functions of genes involved in element homeostasis.Trends in Plant Science 01/2014; 19(3):183-192. · 11.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Embolism repair and ionic effects on xylem hydraulic conductance have been documented in different tree species. However, the diurnal and seasonal patterns of both phenomena and their actual role in plants' responses to drought-induced xylem cavitation have not been thoroughly investigated. This study provides experimental evidence of the ability of three Mediterranean species to maintain hydraulic function under drought stress by coordinating the refilling of xylem conduits and ion-mediated enhancement of stem hydraulic conductance (Kstem). Vessel grouping indices and starch content in vessel-associated parenchyma cells were quantified to verify eventual correlations with ionic effects and refilling, respectively. Experiments were performed on stems of Ceratonia siliqua L., Olea europaea L. and Laurus nobilis L. Seasonal, ion-mediated changes in Kstem (ΔKstem) and diurnal and/or seasonal embolism repair were recorded for all three species, although with different temporal patterns. Field measurements of leaf specific stem hydraulic conductivity showed that it remained quite constant during the year, despite changes in the levels of embolism. Starch content in vessel-associated parenchyma cells changed on diurnal and seasonal scales in L. nobilis and O. europaea but not in C. siliqua. Values of ΔKstem were significantly correlated with vessel multiple fraction values (the ratio of grouped vessels to total number of vessels). Our data suggest that the regulation of xylem water transport in Mediterranean plants relies on a close integration between xylem refilling and ionic effects. These functional traits apparently play important roles in plants' responses to drought-induced xylem cavitation.Tree Physiology 01/2014; · 2.85 Impact Factor