AgCl precipitates in isolated cuticular membranes reduce rates of cuticular transpiration.Planta 2006; 223(2):283-90P
Counter diffusion of chloride, applied as NaCl at the inner side of isolated cuticles, and silver, applied as AgNO(3) at the outer side, lead to the formation of insoluble AgCl precipitates in isolated cuticles. AgCl precipitates could be visualized by light and scanning electron microscopy. The presence of AgCl precipitates in isolated cuticles was verified by energy dispersive X-ray analysis. It is argued that insoluble AgCl precipitates formed in polar pores of cuticles and as a consequence, cuticular transpiration of 13 out of 15 investigated species was significantly reduced up to three-fold. Water as a small and uncharged but polar molecule penetrates cuticles via two parallel paths: a lipophilic path, formed by lipophilic cutin and wax domains, and a aqueous pathe, formed by polar pores. Thus, permeances P (m s(-1)) of water, which is composed of the two quantities P (Lipid) and P (Pore), decreased, since water transport across polar pores was affected by AgCl precipitates. Cuticles with initially high rates of cuticular transpiration were generally more sensitive towards AgCl precipitates compared to cuticles with initially low rates of transpiration. Results presented here, significantly improves the current model of the structure of the cuticular transpiration barrier, since the pronounced heterogeneity of the cuticular transport barrier, composed of lipophilic as well as polar paths of diffusion, has to be taken into account in future.