, Volume 238, Issue 2, pp 307–315 | Cite as

Hydraulic characteristics of water-refilling process in excised roots of Arabidopsis

  • Sang Joon LeeEmail author
  • Bae Geun Hwang
  • Hae Koo Kim
Original Article


Plants have efficient water-transporting vascular networks with a self-recovery function from embolism, which causes fatal discontinuity in sap flow. However, the embolism-refilling process in xylem vessel is still unclear. The water-refilling processes in the individual xylem vessels of excised Arabidopsis roots were visualized in this study using synchrotron X-ray micro-imaging technique with high spatial resolution up to 1 μm per pixel and temporal resolution up to 24 fps. In normal continuous water-refilling process, we could observe various flow patterns affected by the morphological structures of the xylem vessels, especially when water passed through perforation plates. A simple criterion based on the variation in dynamic pressure was suggested to evaluate the contribution of individual perforation plates to the water-refilling process. Meanwhile, the water-refilling embolized sections of xylem vessels through radial pathways were also observed. Separated water columns were formed from this discontinuous water-refilling process and the water influx rates through the radial pathways were estimated to be 478 and 928 μm3 s−1. The dynamic behavior of the separated water columns were quantitatively analyzed from the stoppage of volume growth to the translational phase. These water-refilling processes in excised roots of Arabidopsis may shed light on understanding the water refilling in the embolism vessels of intact plants and the interconnectivity of xylem vessel networks in vascular plants.


Xylem vessel Embolism recovery Perforation plate Radial transport 



This work was financially supported by the Creative Research Initiative (Diagnosis of Biofluid Flow Phenomena and Biomimic Research) of the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology and National Research Foundation of Korea. The X-ray imaging experiments were performed at the 1B2, 7B2, and 6D beamlines of Pohang Accelerator Laboratory (Pohang, Korea).

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MPG 3122 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (MPG 3334 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Center for Biofluid and Biomimic ResearchPohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)PohangKorea

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