Main content area

Association between photosynthesis and contrasting features of minor veins in leaves of summer annuals loading phloem via symplastic versus apoplastic routes

Muller, Onno, Cohu, Christopher M., Stewart, Jared J., Protheroe, Johanna A., Demmig‐Adams, Barbara, Adams, William W., III
Physiologia plantarum 2014 v.152 no.1 pp. 174-183
Arabidopsis thaliana, Citrullus lanatus, Cucumis sativus, Cucurbita pepo, Gossypium hirsutum, Helianthus annuus, Nicotiana tabacum, Solanum lycopersicum, Spinacia oleracea, annuals, ecotypes, leaves, phloem loading, photosynthesis, sap flow, sieve elements, sugars, summer, tracheids, zucchini
Foliar vascular anatomy and photosynthesis were evaluated for a number of summer annual species that either load sugars into the phloem via a symplastic route (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Straight Eight; Cucurbita pepo L. cv. Italian Zucchini Romanesco; Citrullus lanatus L. cv. Faerie Hybrid; Cucurbita pepo L. cv. Autumn Gold) or an apoplastic route (Nicotiana tabacum L.; Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Brandywine; Gossypium hirsutum L.; Helianthus annuus L. cv. Soraya), as well as winter annual apoplastic loaders (Spinacia oleracea L. cv. Giant Nobel; Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynhold Col‐0, Swedish and Italian ecotypes). For all summer annuals, minor vein cross‐sectional xylem area and tracheid number as well as the ratio of phloem loading cells to phloem sieve elements, each when normalized for foliar vein density (VD), was correlated with photosynthesis. These links presumably reflect (1) the xylem's role in providing water to meet foliar transpirational demand supporting photosynthesis and (2) the importance of the driving force of phloem loading as well as the cross‐sectional area for phloem sap flux to match foliar photosynthate production. While photosynthesis correlated with the product of VD and cross‐sectional phloem cell area among symplastic loaders, photosynthesis correlated with the product of VD and phloem cell number per vein among summer annual apoplastic loaders. Phloem cell size has thus apparently been a target of selection among symplastic loaders (where loading depends on enzyme concentration within loading cells) versus phloem cell number among apoplastic loaders (where loading depends on membrane transporter numbers).