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Plant Cell Physiol. 2005 Nov;46(11):1799-808. Epub 2005 Sep 17.

Casparian strips in needles are more solute permeable than endodermal transport barriers in roots of Pinus bungeana.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Photosynthesis and Molecular Environmental Physiology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing.


The structure and development of endodermal Casparian strips in Pinus bungeana needles and roots were studied by scanning electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy. Primary pit fields (PFs) frequently occurred in radial walls of Casparian strips isolated from needles, whereas PFs were never detected in Casparian strips from roots. Formation of Casparian strips in needles as well as roots started at the outer parts of the radial walls and they finally occupied the entire radial walls of the endodermis. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy of Casparian strips isolated from roots revealed significant absorption bands characteristic for suberin. However, in Casparian strips of needles, evidence for suberin was rarely detected by FTIR spectroscopy. The apoplastic permeability of Casparian strips in needles and roots was probed by the apoplastic tracers calcofluor and berberine. Casparian strips in roots efficiently blocked the apoplastic transport (AT) of calcofluor and berberine. Casparian strips in needles blocked the AT of calcofluor, but diffusion of berberine was not inhibited and berberine thiocyanate crystals were detectable in the vascular tissue of the needles. From the data presented, it must be concluded that Casparian strips in needles, which are characterized by the absence of suberin, are more solute permeable compared with Casparian strips in roots.

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