Heterogeneity in bean leaf mesophyll tissue and ion flux profiles: Leaf electrophysiological characteristics correlate with the anatomical structure

Sergey Shabala, Lisa J. Schimanski, Anthony Koutoulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has been suggested for some time that the architectural properties of leaf venation are related to leaf functions; however, experimental evidence is scant and, when present, mainly investigates water or carbohydrate transport patterns. Transport of inorganic nutrients in relationship to leaf anatomical structure remains, to a large extent, an unexplored area in plant physiology. In this study, we correlated ion flux profiles with the anatomical structure of bean (Vicia faba L.) leaf mesophyll tissue using a non-invasive ion flux measuring technique (microelectrode ion flux estimation) and scanning electron microscopy. Quasi-periodic patterns of net H+ and K+ flux distributions were found when the mesophyll surface was scanned along the longitudinal axis with 0.1-0.2 mm increments. These patterns showed a high correlation with anatomical features of the mesophyll tissue (i.e. the distribution of vascular bundles). The observed flux profiles were not time-dependent, showed qualitative similarity in both light and dark conditions, and resulted in heterogeneous plant physiological responses. The possible physiological role of the observed findings, specifically in relation to stomatal 'patchiness' and phloem loading mechanisms, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Botany
Volume89
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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