Save

Function and three-dimensional structure of intervessel pit membranes in angiosperms: a review

In: IAWA Journal
Authors:
Lucian Kaack Institute of Systematic Botany and Ecology, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany.

Search for other papers by Lucian Kaack in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Clemens M. Altaner New Zealand School of Forestry, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Search for other papers by Clemens M. Altaner in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Cora Carmesin Institute of Systematic Botany and Ecology, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany.

Search for other papers by Cora Carmesin in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Ana Diaz Paul Scherrer Institut, Forschungsstrasse 111, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland.

Search for other papers by Ana Diaz in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Mirko Holler Paul Scherrer Institut, Forschungsstrasse 111, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland.

Search for other papers by Mirko Holler in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Christine Kranz Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany.

Search for other papers by Christine Kranz in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Gregor Neusser Institute of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany.

Search for other papers by Gregor Neusser in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Michal Odstrcil Paul Scherrer Institut, Forschungsstrasse 111, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland.
Carl Zeiss SMT, Carl-Zeiss-Strasse 22, 73447 Oberkochen, Germany.

Search for other papers by Michal Odstrcil in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
H. Jochen Schenk Department of Biological Science, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92834-6850, U.S.A..

Search for other papers by H. Jochen Schenk in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Volker Schmidt Institute of Stochastics, Helmholtzstr. 18, Ulm University, 89069 Ulm, Germany.

Search for other papers by Volker Schmidt in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Matthias Weber Institute of Stochastics, Helmholtzstr. 18, Ulm University, 89069 Ulm, Germany.

Search for other papers by Matthias Weber in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Ya Zhang Institute of Systematic Botany and Ecology, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany.
College of Life Sciences, Anhui Normal University, Beijingdong Road 1, 241000 Wuhu, Anhui, China.

Search for other papers by Ya Zhang in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Steven Jansen Institute of Systematic Botany and Ecology, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, Ulm University, 89081 Ulm, Germany.

Search for other papers by Steven Jansen in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$34.95

ABSTRACT

Pit membranes in bordered pits of tracheary elements of angiosperm xylem represent primary cell walls that undergo structural and chemical modifications, not only during cell death but also during and after their role as safety valves for water transport between conduits. Cellulose microfibrils, which are typically grouped in aggregates with a diameter between 20 to 30 nm, make up their main component. While it is clear that pectins and hemicellulose are removed from immature pit membranes during hydrolysis, recent observations of amphiphilic lipids and proteins associated with pit membranes raise important questions about drought-induced embolism formation and spread via air-seeding from gas-filled conduits. Indeed, mechanisms behind air-seeding remain poorly understood, which is due in part to little attention paid to the three-dimensional structure of pit membranes in earlier studies. Based on perfusion experiments and modelling, pore constrictions in fibrous pit membranes are estimated to be well below 50 nm, and typically smaller than 20 nm. Together with the low dynamic surface tensions of amphiphilic lipids at air-water interfaces in pit membranes, 5 to 20 nm pore constrictions are in line with the observed xylem water potentials values that generally induce spread of embolism. Moreover, pit membranes appear to show ideal porous medium properties for sap flow to promote hydraulic efficiency and safety due to their very high porosity (pore volume fraction), with highly interconnected, non-tortuous pore pathways, and the occurrence of multiple pore constrictions within a single pore. This three-dimensional view of pit membranes as mesoporous media may explain the relationship between pit membrane thickness and embolism resistance, but is largely incompatible with earlier, two-dimensional views on air-seeding. It is hypothesised that pit membranes enable water transport under negative pressure by producing stable, surfactant coated nanobubbles while preventing the entry of large bubbles that would cause embolism.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1903 326 35
Full Text Views 180 35 1
PDF Views & Downloads 220 52 3