Confronting Maxwell's demon: biophysics of xylem embolism repair
Trends in Plant Science_v14_2009.pdf (255.0Kb)
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CitationZwieniecki, Maciej A., and N. Michele Holbrook. 2009. “Confronting Maxwell’s Demon: Biophysics of Xylem Embolism Repair.” Trends in Plant Science 14 (10) (October): 530–534. doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2009.07.002.
AbstractEmbolism results in a dramatic loss of xylem hydraulic transport capacity that can lead to decreased plant productivity
and even death. The ability to refill embolized conduits despite the presence of tension in the xylem seems to be widespread, but how this occurs is not known. To promote discussion and future research on this topic, we describe how we believe refilling under
tension might take place. Our scenario includes: (i) an osmotic role for low-molecular weight sugars; (ii) an apoplastic sugar-sensing mechanism to activate refilling; (iii) the contribution of vapor transport in both the influx of water and removal of entrapped gases; and (iv)
the need for a mechanism that can synchronize reconnection to the transpiration stream through multiple bordered pits.
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