ABSTRACT: The abscission zone in fruit pedicels plays an important role in affecting not only water uptake in the developing fruit, but also in the transport of chemical signals from root to shoot. In order to characterize the hydraulic network of tomato fruit pedicels, we applied various techniques, including light, fluorescence microscopy, electron microscopy, maceration, tissue clearing, and X-ray computed tomography. Because of significant changes in xylem anatomy, the abscission zone in tomato fruit pedicels is illustrated to show a clear reduction in hydraulic conductance. Based on anatomical measurements, the theoretical axial xylem conductance was calculated via the Hagen-Poiseuille law, suggesting that the hydraulic resistance of the abscission zone increases at least two orders of magnitude compared to the pedicel zone near the stem. The advantages and shortcomings of the microscope techniques applied are discussed.
Protoplasma 02/2010; 246(1-4):25-31. · 1.92 Impact Factor