Intact plant MRI for the study of cell water relations, membrane permeability, cell-to-cell and long distance water transport.

Laboratory of Biophysics and Wageningen NMR Centre, Wageningen University, Dreijenlaan 3, 6703 HA Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Journal of Experimental Botany (Impact Factor: 5.79). 02/2007; 58(4):743-56. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erl157
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Water content and hydraulic conductivity, including transport within cells, over membranes, cell-to-cell, and long-distance xylem and phloem transport, are strongly affected by plant water stress. By being able to measure these transport processes non-invasely in the intact plant situation in relation to the plant (cell) water balance, it will be possible explicitly or implicitly to examine many aspects of plant function, plant performance, and stress responses. Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques are now available that allow studying plant hydraulics on different length scales within intact plants. The information within MRI images can be manipulated in such a way that cell compartment size, water membrane permeability, water cell-to-cell transport, and xylem and phloem flow hydraulics are obtained in addition to anatomical information. These techniques are non-destructive and non-invasive and can be used to study the dynamics of plant water relations and water transport, for example, as a function of environmental (stress) conditions. An overview of NMR and MRI methods to measure such information is presented and hardware solutions for minimal invasive intact plant MRI are discussed.

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