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Plant Physiol. 1997 Nov;115(3):1089-1099.

Apoplasmic and Protoplasmic Water Transport through the Parenchyma of the Potato Storage Organ.

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Institut fur Biologie, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultat I, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, Invalidenstrasse 42, 10115 Berlin, Germany (W.M., A.S., R.E.).


Stationary volume fluxes through living and denatured parenchyma slices of the potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) storage organ were studied to estimate the hydraulic conductivity of the cell wall and to evaluate the significance of water transport through protoplasts, cell walls, and intercellular spaces. Slices were placed between liquid compartments, steady-state fluxes induced by pressure or concentration gradients of low- and high-molecular-mass osmotica were measured, and water transport pathways were distinguished on the basis of their difference in limiting pore size. The protoplasts were the dominating route for osmotically driven water transport through living slices, even in the case of a polymer osmoticum that is excluded from cell walls. The specific hydraulic conductivity of the cell wall matrix is too small to allow a significant contribution of the narrow cell wall bypass to water flow through the living tissue. This conclusion is based on (a) ultrafilter coefficients of denatured parenchyma slices, (b) the absence of a significant difference between ultrafilter coefficients of the living tissue slices for osmotica with low and high cell wall reflection coefficients, and (c) the absence of a significant interaction (solvent drag) between apoplasmic permeation of mannitol and the water flux caused by a concentration difference of excluded polyethylene glycol. Liquid-filled intercellular spaces were the dominating pathways for pressure-driven volume fluxes through the parenchyma tissue.


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