Real-time measurement of phloem turgor pressure in Hevea brasiliensis with a modified cell pressure probe
journal contributionposted on 2014-02-03, 00:00 authored by F An, David CahillDavid Cahill, Jim RookesJim Rookes, W Lin, Lingxue KongLingxue Kong
Background: Although the pressure flow theory is widely accepted for the transport of photoassimilates in phloem sieve elements, it still requires strong experimental validation. One reason for that is the lack of a precise method for measuring the real-time phloem turgor pressure from the sink tissues, especially in tree trunks. Results: Taking the merits of Hevea brasiliensis, a novel phloem turgor pressure probe based on the state of the art cell pressure probe was developed. Our field measurements showed that the phloem turgor pressure probe can sensitively measure the real-time variation of phloem turgor pressure in H. brasiliensis but the calculation of phloem turgor pressure with xylem tension, xylem sap osmotic potential and phloem sap osmotic potential will under-estimate it. The measured phloem turgor pressure gradient in H. brasiliensis is contrary to the Münch theory. The phloem turgor pressure of H. brasiliensis varied from 8-12 bar as a consequence of water withdrawal from transpiration. Tapping could result in a sharp decrease of phloem turgor pressure followed by a recovery from 8-45 min after the tapping. The recovery of phloem turgor pressure after tapping and its change with xylem sap flow suggest the importance of phloem water relationship in the phloem turgor pressure regulation. Conclusion: The phloem turgor pressure probe is a reliable technique for measuring the real-time variation of phloem turgor pressures in H. brasiliensis. The technique could probably be extended to the accurate measurement of phloem turgor pressure in other woody plants which is essential to test the Münch theory and to investigate the phloem water relationship and turgor pressure regulation. © 2014 An et al.