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Plant Physiol. 1994 Apr;104(4):1201-1208.

Cells of the Upper and Lower Epidermis of Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Leaves Exhibit Distinct Patterns of Vacuolar Solutes.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University College of North Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2UW, Wales, United Kingdom (W.F., J.P., A.D.T.).


Vacuolar saps were extracted from individual, anatomically uniform cells of the upper (adaxial) and lower (abaxial) epidermis of the third leaf of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) using a modified pressure probe. Saps (volume 80-200 pL) were sampled at various times between 3 d before and 7 d after full-leaf expansion and were analyzed for their osmolality and their concentrations of NO3-, malate, CI-, K+, and Ca2+. The osmolalities of upper and lower epidermis both increased with time but were similar to each other. In young leaves, K+ and Ca2+ were evenly distributed between the two epidermal layers, but as the leaf aged, the upper epidermis accumulated high (40-100 mM) Ca2+, whereas cells of the lower epidermis accumulated K+ instead. Nitrate concentration was 100 to 150 mM higher in the upper than in the lower epidermis, whereas CI- was 50 to 120 mM higher in the lower epidermis. These differences did not depend on the leaf developmental stage. The uneven distribution of epidermal NO3- and CI- was maintainedover a wide range of epidermal sap concentrations of these ions and was not affected by NO3- or CI- starvation or by an increase in the light intensity from 120 to 400 [mu]mol m-2 s-1. However, the latter did cause a decrease in epidermal NO3- and the appearance and accumulation of epidermal malate, particularly in the upper epidermis. The physiological implications of the results for solute storage in leaves and for the pathways of ion distribution to the epidermis are discussed.

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