Developmental changes in cell and tissue water relations parameters in storage parenchyma of sugarcane

Paul H. Moore, Daniel J. Cosgrove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The osmotic pressure of the cell sap of stalk storage parenchyma of sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) increases by an order of magnitude during ontogeny to reach molar concentrations of sucrose at maturity. Stalk parenchyma cells must either experience very high turgor at maturation or have an ability to regulate turgor. We tested this hypothesis by using pressure probe techniques to quantify parameters of cell and tissue water relations of sugarcane storage parenchyma during ontogeny. The largest developmental change was in the volumetric elastic modulus, which increased from 6 bars in immature tissue to 43 bars in mature tissue. Turgor was maintained relatively low during sucrose accumulation by the partitioning of solutes between the cell and wall compartments. Membrane hydraulic conductivity decreased from about 12 × 10-7 centimeters per second per bar down to 4.4 × 10-7 centimeters per second per bar. The 2.7-fold decrease in membrane hydraulic conductivity during tissue maturation was accompanied by a 7.8-fold increase in wall elasticity. Integration of the cell wall and membrane properties appears to be by the opposing effects of turgor on hydraulic conductivity and elastic modulus. The changes in these properties during development of sugarcane stalk tissue may be a way for parenchyma cells to develop a capacity for expansive growth and still serve as a strong sink for storing high concentrations of sucrose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)794-801
Number of pages8
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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