ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0188.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Anatomy And Physiology Keywords: Plant biomechanics; turgor pressure; micro-compression; AFM; Arabidopsis thaliana; differentiation
Online: 4 November 2020 (10:42:19 CET)
Individual plant cells are the building blocks for all plantae and artificially constructed plant biomaterials, like biocomposites. Secondary cell walls (SCWs) are a key component for mediating mechanical strength and stiffness in both living vascular plants and biocomposite materials. In this paper, we study the structure and biomechanics of cultured plant cells during the cellular developmental stages associated with SCW formation. We use a model culture system that induces transdifferentiation of Arabidopsis thaliana cells to xylem vessel elements, upon treatment with dexamethasone (DEX). We group the transdifferentiation process into three distinct stages, based on morphological observations of the cell walls. The first stage includes cells with only a primary cell wall (PCW), the second covers cells that have formed a SCW, and the third stage includes cells with a ruptured tonoplast and partially or fully degraded PCW. We adopt a multi-scale approach to study the mechanical properties of cells in these three stages. We perform large-scale indentations with a micro-compression system and nanoscale indentations through atomic force microscopy (AFM), in three different osmotic conditions. We introduce a spring-based model to deconvolve the competing stiffness contributions from turgor pressure, PCW, SCW and cytoplasm in the stiffness of differentiating cells. Prior to triggering differentiation, cells in hypotonic pressure conditions are significantly stiffer than cells in isotonic or hypertonic conditions, highlighting the dominant role of turgor pressure. Plasmolyzed cells with a SCW reach similar levels of stiffness as cells with maximum turgor pressure. The stiffness of the PCW in all of these conditions is lower than the stiffness of the fully-formed SCW. Our results provide the first experimental characterization of the mechanics of SCW formation at single cell level.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0625.v1
Subject: Environmental And Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science And Meteorology Keywords: Turgor; Sentinel-2; Vegetation spectral indices; Kiwi; SWIR/NIR; time-series
Online: 26 September 2020 (12:07:40 CEST)
For more than ten years, Central Chile faces drought conditions, which impact crop production and quality, increasing food security risk. Under this scenario, implementing management practices that allow increasing water use efficiency is urgent. The study was carried out in kiwifruit trees, located in the O’Higgins region, Chile; for season 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. We evaluate nine vegetation indices in the VNIR and SWIR regions derived from Sentinel-2 (A/B) satellites to know how much variability in the canopy water status could explain. Over the study's site were installed sensors that continuously measure the leaf's turgor pressure (Yara Water-Sensor). A strong correlation between turgor pressure and vegetation indices was obtained with the Spearman's rho coefficient ($\rho$). However, the NIR range's indices were influenced by the vegetative development of the crop rather than its water status. Red-edge showed better performance as the vegetative growth did not affect it. It is necessary to expand the study to consider higher variability in kiwifruit's water conditions and incorporate the sensitivity of different wavelengths.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.1933.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior And Systematics Keywords: Andes mountains; drought tolerance; elevation; solute leakage; tropical forest; understory plants; turgor loss point; cuticular conductance
Online: 27 June 2023 (15:02:29 CEST)
Little is known about how differences in water availability within the “super humid” tropics can influence the distribution of understory plant species and the composition of understory plant communities. We investigated variation in the physiological drought tolerances of understory plants and plant communities across a large elevation and precipitation gradient. We established 58 understory plots along a gradient of 400 – 3600 m asl elevation and 1000 – 6000 mm yr-1 rainfall in and around Manu National Park in southeastern Peru. Within the plots, we sampled all understory woody plants and measured three metrics of physiological leaf drought tolerance - turgor loss point (TLP), cuticular conductance (Gmin), and solute leakage (SL) - and assessed how the community-level means of these traits related to mean annual precipitation (MAP) and elevation (in the study gradient temperature decreases linearly and vapor pressure deficit increases monotonically with elevation). We did not find any correlations between the three metrics of leaf drought tolerance, suggesting that they represent independent strategies for coping with low water availability. Despite being widely used metrics of leaf drought tolerance, neither TLP nor Gmin showed any significant relationships with elevation or MAP. In contrast, SL, which has only recently been developed for use in ecological field studies, increased significantly at higher precipitations and at lower elevations (i.e., plants in colder and drier habitats have lower SL, indicating greater drought tolerances). Our results illustrate that differences in water availability may play a strong role in structuring plant communities even in in the wet tropics and highlight the potential for SL assays to be an efficient and effective tool for measuring drought tolerances in the field.