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How does water get through roots?

Title data

Steudle, Ernst ; Peterson, Carol A.:
How does water get through roots?
In: Journal of Experimental Botany. Vol. 49 (1998) Issue 322 . - pp. 775-788.
ISSN 1460-2431
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/49.322.775

Abstract in another language

On the basis of recent results with young primary maize roots, a model is proposed for the movement of water across roots. It is shown how the complex, 'composite anatomical structure' of roots results in a 'composite transport' of both water and solutes. Parallel apoplastic, symplastic and transcellular pathways play an important role during the passage of water across the different tissues. These are arranged in series within the root cylinder (epidermis, exodermis, central cortex, endodermis, pericycle stelar parenchyma, and tracheary elements). The contribution of these structures to the root's overall radial hydraulic resistance is examined. It is shown that as soon as early metaxylem vessels mature, the axial (longitudinal) hydraulic resistance within the xylem is usually not rate-limiting. According to the model, there is a rapid exchange of water between parallel radial pathways because, in contrast to solutes such as nutrient ions, water permeates cell membranes readily. The roles of apoplastic barriers (Casparian bands and suberin lamellae) in the root's endo-and exodermis are discussed. The model allows for special characteristics of roots such as a high hydraulic conductivity (water permeability) in the presence of a low permeability of nutrient ions once taken up into the stele by active processes. Low root reflection coefficients indicate some apoplastic by-passes for water within the root cylinder. For a given root, the model explains the large variability in the hydraulic resistance in terms of a dependence of hydraulic conductivity on the nature and intensity of the driving forces involved to move water. By switching the apoplastic path on or off, the model allows for a regulation of water uptake according to the demands from the shoot. At high rates of transpiration, the apoplastic path will be partially used and the hydraulic resistance of the root will be low, allowing for a rapid uptake of water. On the contrary, at low rates of transpiration such as during the night or during stress conditions (drought, high salinity, nutrient deprivation), the apoplastic path will be less used and the hydraulic resistance will be high. The role of water channels (aquaporins) in the transcellular path is in the fine adjustment of water flow or in the regulation of uptake in older, suberized parts of plant roots lacking a substantial apoplastic component. The composite transport model explains how plants are designed to optimize water uptake according to demands from the shoot and how external factors may influence water passage across roots.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER33655
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Plant Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2015 06:35
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015 06:35
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/19388