Effect of temperature on cuticular transpiration of isolated cuticular membranes and leaf discs.J Exp Bot 2001; 52(362):1893-900JE
Cuticular transpiration was measured in the temperature range between 10 degrees C and 55 degrees C using tritiated water and five species (Vinca major L., Prunus laurocerasus L., Forsythia intermedia L., Citrus aurantium L., and Hedera helix L.). Cuticular water permeabilities measured with isolated cuticular membranes were not different from cuticular water permeabilities measured with leaf discs. Depending on the species cuticular water permeabilities increased by factors between 12 (V. major) to 264 (H. helix) when temperature was increased from 10 degrees C to 55 degrees C. Arrhenius plots (lnP versus 1/T) of all investigated species were characterized by phase transitions occurring in the temperature range of 30-39 degrees C. Activation energies for water permeability across plant cuticles below and above the midpoint of phase transition were calculated from Arrhenius plots. Depending on the species they varied between 26 (F. intermedia) to 61 kJ mol(-1) (H. helix) below the phase transition and from 67 (V. major) to 122 kJ mol(-1) (F. intermedia) above the phase transition. Since the occurrence of phase transitions always lead to significantly increased rates of cuticular transpiration it is argued that temperatures higher than 35 degrees C caused structural defects to the transport-limiting barrier of the plant cuticles of all species investigated.