Phloem pp 153-162 | Cite as

Noninvasive Determination of Phloem Transport Speed with Carbon-14 (14C)

  • Christopher Vincent
  • Peter E. H. Minchin
  • Johannes LiescheEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2014)


Studying the phloem, through which organic substances are distributed between plant organs, is challenging because of its position deep inside the plant body and its sensitivity to manipulation. The speed of phloem transport can be studied by tracers. Here a protocol for the use of 14C-labeled photoassimilate to measure phloem transport speed is provided. A major advantage of this method is its noninvasiveness, as the isotope is supplied as 14CO2, which is converted in source leaves to 14C-sugars, whose movement is then followed by photomultiplier-based X-ray detectors positioned close to the stem. The same method can be used to determine partitioning among sinks over time and rates of export from sources. The relatively simple handling enables medium throughput experiments under controlled conditions.

Key words

Phloem transport Carbon allocation Sieve element Isotope Carbon tracing Bremsstrahlung Transport velocity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Vincent
    • 1
  • Peter E. H. Minchin
    • 2
  • Johannes Liesche
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Horticultural SciencesUniversity of FloridaLake AlfredUSA
  2. 2.New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food ResearchMotueka Research CentreMotuekaNew Zealand
  3. 3.College of Life SciencesNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina

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