Abstract. The interrelationships of leaf diffusive conductance, tap root cell turgor pressure and the diameter of the tap root of sugarbeet were studied. The study was conducted on well‐watered plants growing in pots under artificial light in the glasshouse. In a typical experiment, on illumination (400 μmol m−2 s−1) leaf conductance increased from 0.6 to 7.4 mm s−1. Cell turgor pressure in the tap root decreased from 0.8 MPa to 0.45 MPa and the root diameter (9.0 cm) contracted by 145μm. Removal of light resulted in the reversal of each of the above parameters to their previous values. Quantitively similar results were obtained when sugar beet plants were uprooted and the response of each of the parameters was measured. The sequence of events however was different. On stimulation by light, changes in leaf diffusive conductance preceded the turgor and root diameter changes (which were simultaneous) by some 15–20min. In contrast, on uprooting the simultaneous changes in root turgor pressure and diameter preceded the changes in leaf conductance. The lag times between changes in diffusive conductance and turgor pressure in the root were between 20 and 30 min. Tap root turgor pressure and diameter correlated strongly and permitted the calculation of an apparent whole root volumetric elastic modules (55–63 MPa). The small changes in tissue volume relative to the transpiration rate suggest that the tap root is not a significant source of transpirational water during the day.