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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #311721

Research Project: Sustainable Vineyard Production Systems

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Title: Direct micro-CT observation confirms the induction of embolism upon xylem cutting under tension

item TORRES-RUIZ, JOSE - University Of Bordeaux
item JANSEN, STEVEN - Ulm University
item CHOAT, BRENDAN - Western Sydney University
item McElrone, Andrew
item COCHARD, HERVE - Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
item BRODRIBB, TIMOTHY - University Of Tasmania
item BADEL, ERIC - Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
item BURLETT, REGIS - University Of Bordeaux
item BOUCHE, PAULINE - University Of Bordeaux
item BRODERSEN, CRAIG - Yale University
item LI, SHAN - Ulm University
item MORRIS, HUGH - Ulm University
item DELZON, SYLVAIN - University Of Bordeaux

Submitted to: Plant Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/25/2014
Publication Date: 11/6/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Torres-Ruiz, J., Jansen, S., Choat, B., Mcelrone, A.J., Cochard, H., Brodribb, T.J., Badel, E., Burlett, R., Bouche, P.S., Brodersen, C.R., Li, S., Morris, H., Delzon, S. 2014. Direct micro-CT observation confirms the induction of embolism upon xylem cutting under tension. Plant Physiology. 167:40-43.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: We used two different Synchrotron-based micro-CT facilities (SLS: Swiss Light Source, Villigen, Switzerland, and ALS: Advanced Light Source, Berkeley, CA USA) to test the excision artifact described by Wheeler et al. (2013). Specifically, we examined the impact of cutting xylem under tension and under water in three woody and one herbaceous species: maple, eucalyptus, walnut and sunflower. By direct visualizations we tested whether (i) the degree of embolism of the samples varied before and after cutting them (underwater) for all four species; and (ii) the magnitude xylem tension affected the degree of embolism observed in intact plants and after cutting under water. For all the species studied, images showed an increase in the degree of embolism after cutting while the xylem was under tension, whether the measurements were done on intact plants or cut branches. Our results confirm that the excision artifact does have a significant impact on estimates of embolism at the stem level. This indicates that we must carefully reassess the accuracy of some previous results, especially those obtained from samples collected under tension (e.g. at midday) and long-vesseled species in which vessels could be open in the measurement segment. Our results highlight the importance of both validating xylem embolism data and invasive hydraulic techniques by direct observation in intact plants for an improved understanding of water transport physiology in plants. Suggested methodology is presented to avoid cutting artifacts during sample preparation.