Distribution of xylem hydraulic resistance in fruiting truss of tomato influenced by water stress

W. van Ieperen, V.S. Volkov, U. van Meeteren

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39 Citations (Scopus)


In this study xylem hydraulic resistances of peduncles (truss stalk), pedicels (fruit stalk) and the future abscission zone (AZ) halfway along the pedicel of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) plants were directly measured at different stages of fruit development, in plants grown under two levels of water availability in the root environment. The xylem hydraulic connection between shoot and fruits has previously been investigated, but contradictory conclusions were drawn about the presence of a flow resistance barrier in the pedicel. These conclusions were all based on indirect functional measurements and anatomical observations of water-conducting tissue in the pedicel. In the present study, by far the largest resistances were measured in the AZ where most individual vessels ended. Plants grown at low water availability in the root environment had xylem with higher hydraulic resistances in the peduncle and pedicel segments on both sides of the AZ, while the largest increase in hydraulic resistance was measured in the AZ. During fruit development hydraulic resistances in peduncle and pedicel segments decreased on both sides of the AZ, but tended to increase in the AZ. The overall xylem hydraulic resistance between the shoot and fruit tended to increase with fruit development because of the dominating role of the hydraulic resistance in the AZ. It is discussed whether the xylem hydraulic resistance in the AZ of tomato pedicels in response to water stress and during fruit development contributes to the hydraulic isolation of fruits from diurnal cycles of water stress in the shoot.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • calcium
  • growth
  • stems
  • transpiration
  • architecture
  • conductivity
  • vessels
  • zones

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