Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Water Relations of Expanding Leaves

EWR Barlow

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 13(1) 45 - 58
Published: 1986


The reactivity of leaf growth to changes in plant water status has been analysed in terms of leaf development, water transport and turgor. The different growth patterns of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous leaves result in fundamental differences in the water relations of expanding leaves. Most monocotyledonous leaf cells complete their expansion phase within the protective older leaf bases, while the majority of dicotyledonous leaf cells expand in an exposed evaporative environment. The consequence of this morphological difference is that expanding monocotyledonous leaves behave similarly to other enclosed tissue during water stress by exhibiting turgor maintenance through osmotic adjustment. Expanding dicotyledonous leaves do not exhibit this response. The maintenance of turgor in monocotyledons in the absence of leaf expansion suggests that growth is controlled by the yield threshold of the cell wall during episodes of water stress.

© CSIRO 1986

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