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Supply and compartmentalization of potassium in mesophyll cells of the needles of spruce, Picea abies (L.) Karst.

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Summary

The water and potassium content and the relative vacuolar volume (α = Vvacuole/Vcell) of mesophyll cells of the needles of healthy 21-yearold spruce trees [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] were determined. In 5-year-old needles α was 0.626 ± 0.178 (ovx ± SD). Potassium concentrations in the bulk tissue water ranged from about 65 to 105 mM. Simulations were made using this information and a simple two-compartmental model of the cell with the bulk cytoplasm and the vacuole and assuming that the minimum cytoplasmic and vacuolar K+ concentrations are 100–150 mM and 10–15 mM respectively. It is shown that a K+ content of needles below 50 mmol/1 tissue water would be precarious for maintenance of normal physiological and metabolic performance.

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Correspondence to Ulrich Lüttge.

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Schmidt, R., Lüttge, U. & Kramer, D. Supply and compartmentalization of potassium in mesophyll cells of the needles of spruce, Picea abies (L.) Karst.. Trees 3, 154–160 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00226651

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Key words

  • Picea abies (L.) Karst.
  • Potassium
  • Nutrition
  • Compartmentalization
  • Cell morphometry