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J Exp Bot. 2005 Sep;56(419):2389-400. Epub 2005 Jul 25.

Relationships between xylem sap constituents and leaf conductance of well-watered and water-stressed maize across three xylem sap sampling techniques.

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  • 1Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, 975 North Warson Rd, St Louis, MO 63132, USA.


Many different techniques have been used for xylem sap collection, but few direct comparisons of techniques have been conducted and few comparisons have been based on comprehensive analyses of xylem sap. Moreover, the suitability of extraction techniques for use on plants grown under water-stress conditions has not been addressed. Xylem sap was extracted from both well-watered and water-stressed Zea mays plants using three different techniques. The main aim was to determine how the extraction method altered the correlations between sap constituents and stomatal conductance in order to determine which relationships change with extraction technique. A 'root pressure' technique was the simplest method of extracting large volumes of sap, but the low sap delivery rates altered the composition of sap. Two pressurization techniques that varied in the position from which sap was collected were tested. The pressurization techniques allowed for the control of delivery rates that influence sap constituent concentrations. The position from which xylem sap was collected on the plant was also found to be important. All three techniques produced consistent correlations between ABA and chloride delivery rates and changes in stomatal conductance, suggesting that each technique could be applied to identify certain putative xylem-borne signals.

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