, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 392–403 | Cite as

Evaluating the link between photosynthetic capacity and leaf vascular organization with principal component analysis

  • S. K. Polutchko
  • J. J. Stewart
  • B. Demmig-Adams
  • W. W. Adams


Significant linear relationships between photosynthetic capacity and principal components loaded by phloem cell numbers and tracheary elements per minor vein as well as the latter two normalized for vein density (proxy for apoplastic phloem loading capacity involving membrane transporters) were revealed for all apoplastic loaders (summer annuals and winter annual Arabidopsis thaliana). In addition, significant linear relationships between photosynthetic capacity and a principal component loaded by tracheary element cross-sectional areas and volumes per unit of leaf area (water flux capacity proxy) was present for symplastic and apoplastic loaders. Lastly, a significant linear relationship between photosynthetic capacity and a principal component loaded by phloem cell cross-sectional areas and volumes per unit of leaf area (proxy for symplastic loading capacity involving cytosolic enzymes for companion cells) was revealed for summer annual symplastic loaders as well as for A. thaliana (in the case of sieve elements, a proxy for sugar export capacity from the leaves).

Additional key words

growth temperature high light low light phloem parenchyma cells xylem 



companion cell


loading cell (i.e., CC and PPC)


principal component


principal component analysis


phloem parenchyma cell


summer annual


sieve element


tracheary element


vein density


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Polutchko
    • 1
  • J. J. Stewart
    • 1
  • B. Demmig-Adams
    • 1
  • W. W. Adams
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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