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J Exp Bot. 2001 Mar;52(Spec Issue):445-57.

Partitioning of nutrient transport processes in roots.

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  • 1Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA, UK.


Roots have a range of cell types that each contribute to the acquisition of nutrients and their subsequent transfer to the xylem. The activities of these cells must be co-ordinated to ensure that delivery of nutrients to the shoot occurs at a rate that matches the demands of growth. The partitioning of transport processes between different cell types is thus essential for roots to function effectively. This partitioning is considered at the level of proteins, organelles and cells in relation to the accepted concepts of how nutrients are taken up by roots and delivered to the xylem. Using K+ as an example, the evidence underpinning current concepts is examined, gaps in understanding identified and the contribution of some new approaches assessed.

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