Apoplasmic and simplasmic phloem unloading mechanisms: Do they co-exist in Angeleno plums under demanding environmental conditions?

1 June

Professor Luca Corelli Grappadelli, inaugural veski sustainable agricultural fellow

 

Abstract

Biophysical fruit growth depends on a balance among the vascular and transpiration flows entering/exiting the fruit via phloem, xylem and through the epidermis. There is no information on vascular flows of Japanese plums, a speciescharacterized by high-sugar content of its fruit at harvest. Vascular flows of Angeleno plums were monitored by fruit gauges during late fruit development, under the dry environment of the Goulburn Valley, Victoria, Australia. Phloem, xylem flows and skin transpiratory losses were determined, as well as diurnal leaf, stem and fruit pressurepotentials. Fruit seasonal development, skin conductance and dry matter accumulation were also monitored. Fruit grew following a double-sigmoid pattern, but fruit size increased only 3.1 g over the last 3 weeks of development. Fruit grew very little in the morning, primarily due to phloem inflows (0.05 g fruit−1hr−1), while water left the fruit via the xylem. Negligible skin transpiration was recorded for vapour pressure deficit (VPD) values below 3 kPa. This growth pattern, in the absence of skin transpiration, suggests apoplastic phloem unloading. However, at VPD values over 3 kPa (e.g. from early afternoon to a peak around 18:00 h), transpiratory losses through the skin (up to 0.25 g fruit−1hr−1) caused fruit to shrink, leading to enhanced phloem and xylem inflows (ca. 0.15 g fruit−1hr−1), a scenario that would correspond to symplastic phloem unloading. Over 24 h the fruit showed a slightly negative total growth, consistent with fruit growth measured in situ during the season at weekly intervals. A few fruit species are known to alter their phloem unloading mechanism, switching from symplastic to apoplastic during the season. Our data support the coexistence in Japanese plum of different phloem unloading strategies within the same day.

 

Source: Journal of Plan Physiology
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0176161719300513?via%3Dihub

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