J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2004, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (5): 505-514.

• Research Articles •     Next Articles

Advances in the Studies on Water Uptake by Plant Roots

ZHAO Chang-Xing, DENG Xi-Ping, ZHANG Sui-Qi, YE Qing, Ernst STEUDLE, SHAN Lun   


In the past decade, our understanding of the mechanisms of water uptake by plant roots at the cell, tissue, and whole-plant levels rapidly progressed due to the introduction of new techniques and concepts. Some aspects of this work were reviewed, mainly including the composite structure of roots and effects of the distribution of roots in the soil. The nature of water flow in plant roots was discussed. A link was provided between root hydraulics and the expression and function of aquaporins. This was related to the regulation of water transport and to the signaling between roots and shoots. The composite transport model of root was mentioned which represents a physical model of water uptake. This is part of a comprehensive analysis of recent findings of studies on water uptake by plant roots and contributes to our current understanding of the basic mechanisms that govern the water uptake by roots.

Key words: aquaporins, water uptake, root anatomy, water channel, composite transport model, soil-plant-atmosphere continuum

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