Fabrication of Artificial Leaf to Develop Fluid Pump Driven by Surface Tension and Evaporation.
ABSTRACT: Plants transport water from roots to leaves via xylem through transpiration, which is an evaporation process that occurs at the leaves. During transpiration, suction pressure is generated by the porous structure of mesophyll cells in the leaves. Here, we fabricate artificial leaf consisting of micro and nano hierarchy structures similar to the mesophyll cells and veins of a leaf using cryo-gel method. We show that the microchannels in agarose gel greatly decrease the flow resistance in dye diffusion and permeability experiments. Capillary tube and silicone oil are used for measuring the suction pressure of the artificial leaf. We maintain low humidity (20%) condition for measuring suction pressure that is limited by Laplace pressure, which is smaller than the water potential of air followed by the Kelvin-Laplace relation. Suction pressure of the artificial leaf is maximized by changing physical conditions, e.g., pore size, wettability of the structure. We change the agarose gel's concentration to decrease the pore size down to 200?nm and add the titanium nano particles to increase the wettability by changing contact angle from 63.6° to 49.4°. As a result, the measured suction pressure of the artificial leaf can be as large as 7.9 kPa.
Project description:The photosynthetic rate increases under high-N supply, resulting in a large CO? transport conductance in mesophyll cells. It is less known that water movement is affected by nitrogen supply in leaves. This study investigated whether the expression of aquaporin and water transport were affected by low-N (0.7 mM) and high-N (7 mM) concentrations in the hydroponic culture of four rice varieties: (1) Shanyou 63 (SY63), a hybrid variant of the indica species; (2) Yangdao 6 (YD6), a variant of indica species; (3) Zhendao 11 (ZD11), a hybrid variant of japonica species; and (4) Jiuyou 418 (JY418), another hybrid of the japonica species. Both the photosynthetic and transpiration rate were increased by the high-N supply in the four varieties. The expressions of aquaporins, plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs), and tonoplast membrane intrinsic protein (TIP) were higher in high-N than low-N leaves, except in SY63. Leaf hydraulic conductance (Kleaf) was lower in high-N than low-N leaves in SY63, while Kleaf increased under high-N supply in the YD6 variant. Negative correlations were observed between the expression of aquaporin and the transpiration rate in different varieties. Moreover, there was a significant negative correlation between transpiration rate and intercellular air space. In conclusion, the change in expression of aquaporins could affect Kleaf and transpiration. A feedback effect of transpiration would regulate aquaporin expression. The present results imply a coordination of gas exchange with leaf hydraulic conductance.
Project description:Leaf epidermal micromorphology and mesophyll structure during the development of Populus euphratica heteromorphic leaves, including linear, lanceolate, ovate, dentate ovate, dentate rhombic, dentate broad-ovate and dentate fan-shaped leaves, were studied by using electron and light microscopy. During development of heteromorphic leaves, epidermal appendages (wax crystals and trichomes) and special cells (mucilage cells and crystal idioblasts) increased in all leaf types while chloroplast ultrastructure and stomatal characters show maximum photosynthetic activity in dentate ovate and rhombic leaves. Also, functional analysis by subordinate function values shows that the maximum adaptability to adverse stress was exhibited in the broad type of mature leaves. The 12 heteromorphic leaf types are classified into three major groups by hierarchical cluster analysis: young, developing and mature leaves. Mature leaves can effectively obtain the highest stress resistance by combining the protection of xerophytic anatomy from drought stress, regulation of water uptake in micro-environment by mucilage and crystal idioblasts, and assistant defense of transpiration reduction through leaf epidermal appendages, which improves photosynthetic activity under arid desert conditions. Our data confirms that the main leaf function is differentiated during the developing process of heteromorphic leaves.
Project description:To better understand the long-term impact of Ophiostoma novo-ulmi Brasier on leaf physiology in 'Dodoens', a Dutch elm disease-tolerant hybrid, measurements of leaf area, leaf dry mass, petiole anatomy, petiole hydraulic conductivity, leaf and branch water potential, and branch sap flow were performed 3 years following an initial artificial inoculation. Although fungal hyphae were detected in fully expanded leaves, neither anatomical nor morphological traits were affected, indicating that there was no impact from the fungal hyphae on the leaves during leaf expansion. In contrast, however, infected trees showed both a lower transpiration rate of branches and a lower sap flow density. The long-term persistence of fungal hyphae inside vessels decreased the xylem hydraulic conductivity, but stomatal regulation of transpiration appeared to be unaffected as the leaf water potential in both infected and non-infected trees was similarly driven by the transpirational demands. Regardless of the fungal infection, leaves with a higher leaf mass per area ratio tended to have a higher leaf area-specific conductivity. Smaller leaves had an increased number of conduits with smaller diameters and thicker cell walls. Such a pattern could increase tolerance towards hydraulic dysfunction. Measurements of water potential and theoretical xylem conductivity revealed that petiole anatomy could predict the maximal transpiration rate. Three years following fungal inoculation, phenotypic expressions for the majority of the examined traits revealed a constitutive nature for their possible role in Dutch elm disease tolerance of 'Dodoens' trees.
Project description:We examined the spatiotemporal distribution and accumulation of calcium (Ca), potassium (K), and zinc (Zn) during the growth and maturation of grey poplar (Populus tremula × alba) leaves covering plastochrons 01 through 10. This period spans the sugar sink-to-source transition and requires coordinated changes of multiple core metabolic processes that likely involve alterations in essential and non-essential element distributions as tissues mature and effect a reversal in phloem flow direction. Whole-leaf elemental maps were obtained from dried specimens using micro X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Additional cross-sections of fresh leaves were scanned to check for tissue specificity in element accumulation. The anatomical distribution of Zn and K remains relatively consistent throughout leaf development; Ca accumulation varied across leaf developmental stages. The basipetal allocation of Ca to the leaf mesophyll matched spatially and temporally the sequence of phloem maturation, positive carbon balance, and sugar export from leaves. The accumulation of Ca likely reflects the maturation of xylem in minor veins and the enhancement of the transpiration stream. Our results independently confirm that xylem and phloem maturation are spatially and temporally coordinated with the onset of sugar export in leaves.
Project description:Increased expression of the aquaporin NtAQP1, which is known to function as a plasmalemma channel for CO? and water, increases the rate of both photosynthesis and transpiration. In contrast, increased expression of Arabidopsis hexokinase1 (AtHXK1), a dual-function enzyme that mediates sugar sensing, decreases the expression of photosynthetic genes and the rate of transpiration and inhibits growth. Here, we show that AtHXK1 also decreases root and stem hydraulic conductivity and leaf mesophyll CO? conductance (g(m)). Due to their opposite effects on plant development and physiology, we examined the relationship between NtAQP1 and AtHXK1 at the whole-plant level using transgenic tomato plants expressing both genes simultaneously. NtAQP1 significantly improved growth and increased the transpiration rates of AtHXK1-expressing plants. Reciprocal grafting experiments indicated that this complementation occurs when both genes are expressed simultaneously in the shoot. Yet, NtAQP1 had only a marginal effect on the hydraulic conductivity of the double-transgenic plants, suggesting that the complementary effect of NtAQP1 is unrelated to shoot water transport. Rather, NtAQP1 significantly increased leaf mesophyll CO? conductance and enhanced the rate of photosynthesis, suggesting that NtAQP1 facilitated the growth of the double-transgenic plants by enhancing mesophyll conductance of CO?.
Project description:Background and Aims:An altitudinal gradient of leaf wettability is often observed between and within species. To understand its functional significance, positional variation of leaf surfaces within plants should be taken into account. In rosette-forming plants, rosette leaves are near the ground and their adaxial surfaces are exposed, whereas cauline leaves are lifted from the ground throughout the reproductive season, and their abaxial surfaces are more exposed. Here, we investigated leaf wettability of cauline and rosette leaves of Arabidopsis halleri subsp. gemmifera growing in contrasting montane habitats along an altitudinal gradient at Mt Ibuki, Japan. Methods:We conducted field investigations and a growth chamber experiment to determine whether field-observed variation in leaf wettability was caused by genetic differentiation. We further performed gene expression analysis of a wax-related gene, i.e. AhgCER1, a homologue of A. thaliana ECERIFERUM1 (CER1) that may be involved in differentiation of leaf wettability. Key Results:We found cauline-leaf specific genetic differentiation in leaf wettability between contrasting montane habitats. Cauline leaves of semi-alpine plants, especially on abaxial surfaces, were non-wettable. Cauline leaves of low-altitudinal understorey plants were wettable, and rosette leaves were also wettable in both habitats. AhgCER1 expression corresponded to observed leaf wettability patterns. Conclusions:Low wettability of cauline leaves is hypothesized to keep exposed surfaces dry when they are wrapping flowering buds in early spring, and presumably protects flowering buds from frost damage. The genetic system that controls wax content, specifically for cauline leaves, should be involved in the observed genetic differentiation, and AhgCER1 control is a strong candidate for the underlying genetic mechanism.
Project description:Deciduous broad-leaf trees survive and prepare for winter by shedding their leaves in fall. During the fall season, a change in a leaf's wettability and its impact on the leaf-fall are not well understood. In this study, we measure the surface morphology and wettability of Katsura leaves from the summer to winter, and reveal how leaf structural changes lead to wettability changes. The averaged contact angle of leaves decreases from 147° to 124° while the contact-angle hysteresis significantly increases by about 35°, which are attributed to dehydration and erosion of nano-wax. Due to such wettability changes, fall brown leaves support approximately 17 times greater water volume than summer leaves.
Project description:Guard cells are highly specialized cells that form tiny pores called stomata on the leaf surface. The opening and closing of stomata control leaf gas exchange and water transpiration as well as allow plants to quickly respond and adjust to new environmental conditions. Mesophyll cells are specialized for photosynthesis. Despite the phenotypic and obvious functional differences between the two types of cells, the full protein components and their functions have not been explored but are addressed here through a global comparative proteomics analysis of purified guard cells and mesophyll cells. With the use of isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) tagging and two-dimensional liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, we identified 1458 non-redundant proteins in both guard cells and mesophyll cells of Brassica napus leaves. Based on stringent statistical criteria, a total of 427 proteins were quantified, and 74 proteins were found to be enriched in guard cells. Proteins involved in energy (respiration), transport, transcription (nucleosome), cell structure, and signaling are preferentially expressed in guard cells. We observed several well characterized guard cell proteins. By contrast, proteins involved in photosynthesis, starch synthesis, disease/defense/stress, and other metabolisms are preferentially represented in mesophyll cells. Of the identified proteins, 110 have corresponding microarray data obtained from Arabidopsis guard cells and mesophyll cells. About 72% of these proteins follow the same trend of expression at the transcript and protein levels. For the rest of proteins, the correlation between proteomics data and the microarray data is poor. This highlights the importance of quantitative profiling at the protein level. Collectively this work represents the most extensive proteomic description of B. napus guard cells and has improved our knowledge of the functional specification of guard cells and mesophyll cells.
Project description:Photosynthesis requires sufficient water transport through leaves for stomata to remain open as water transpires from the leaf, allowing CO2 to diffuse into the leaf. The leaf water needs of soybean change over time because of large microenvironment changes over their lifespan, as leaves mature in full sun at the top of the canopy and then become progressively shaded by younger leaves developing above. Leaf hydraulic conductance (K(leaf)), a measure of the leaf's water transport capacity, can often be linked to changes in microenvironment and transpiration demand. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that K(leaf) would decline in coordination with transpiration demand as soybean leaves matured and aged. Photosynthesis (A), stomatal conductance (g(s)) and leaf water potential (?(leaf)) were also measured at various leaf ages with both field- and chamber-grown soybeans to assess transpiration demand. K(leaf) was found to decrease as soybean leaves aged from maturity to shading to senescence, and this decrease was strongly correlated with midday A. Decreases in K(leaf) were further correlated with decreases in g(s), although the relationship was not as strong as that with A. Separate experiments investigating the response of K(leaf) to drought demonstrated no acclimation of K(leaf) to drought conditions to protect against cavitation or loss of g(s) during drought and confirmed the effect of leaf age in K(leaf) observed in the field. These results suggest that the decline of leaf hydraulic conductance as leaves age keeps hydraulic supply in balance with demand without K(leaf)becoming limiting to transpiration water flux.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>While most water loss from leaf surfaces occurs via stomata, part of this loss also occurs through the leaf cuticle, even when the stomata are fully closed. This component, termed residual transpiration, dominates during the night and also becomes critical under stress conditions such as drought or salinity. Reducing residual transpiration might therefore be a potentially useful mechanism for improving plant performance when water availability is reduced (e.g. under saline or drought stress conditions). One way of reducing residual transpiration may be via increased accumulation of waxes on the surface of leaf. Residual transpiration and wax constituents may vary with leaf age and position as well as between genotypes. This study used barley genotypes contrasting in salinity stress tolerance to evaluate the contribution of residual transpiration to the overall salt tolerance, and also investigated what role cuticular waxes play in this process. Leaves of three different positions (old, intermediate and young) were used.<h4>Results</h4>Our results show that residual transpiration was higher in old leaves than the young flag leaves, correlated negatively with the osmolality, and was positively associated with the osmotic and leaf water potentials. Salt tolerant varieties transpired more water than the sensitive variety under normal growth conditions. Cuticular waxes on barley leaves were dominated by primary alcohols (84.7-86.9%) and also included aldehydes (8.90-10.1%), n-alkanes (1.31-1.77%), benzoate esters (0.44-0.52%), phytol related compounds (0.22-0.53%), fatty acid methyl esters (0.14-0.33%), ?-diketones (0.07-0.23%) and alkylresorcinols (1.65-3.58%). A significant negative correlation was found between residual transpiration and total wax content, and residual transpiration correlated significantly with the amount of primary alcohols.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Both leaf osmolality and the amount of total cuticular wax are involved in controlling cuticular water loss from barley leaves under well irrigated conditions. A significant and negative relationship between the amount of primary alcohols and a residual transpiration implies that some cuticular wax constituents act as a water barrier on plant leaf surface and thus contribute to salinity stress tolerance. It is suggested that residual transpiration could be a fundamental mechanism by which plants optimize water use efficiency under stress conditions.