Water is the most important prerequisite for life and plays a major role during uptake and transport of nutrients. Roots are the plant organs that take up the major part of water, from the surrounding soil. Water uptake is related to the root system architecture, root growth, age and species dependent complex developmental changes in the anatomical structures. The latter is mainly attributed to the deposition of suberized barriers in certain layers of cell walls, such as endo- and exodermis. With respect to water permeability, changes in the suberization of roots are most relevant. Water transport or hydraulic conductivity of roots (Lpr) can be described by the composite transport model and is known to be very variable between plant species and growth conditions and root developmental states. In this review, we summarize how anatomical structures and apoplastic barriers of roots can diversely affect water transport, comparing the model plant Arabidopsis with crop plants, such as barley and rice. Results comparing the suberin amounts and water transport properties indicate that the common assumption that suberin amount negatively correlates with water and solute transport through roots may not always be true. The composition, microstructure and localization of suberin may also have a great impact on the formation of efficient barriers to water and solutes.
Kreszies, T., Schreiber, L., & Ranathunge, R. A. (2018). Suberized transport barriers in Arabidopsis, barley and rice roots: from the model plant to crop species. Journal of Plant Physiology, 227, 75-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jplph.2018.02.002