Fluorescein Transport Assay to Assess Bulk Flow of Molecules Through the Hypocotyl in Arabidopsis thaliana

Salva Duran-Nebreda, George Bassel

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The bulk transport of molecules through plant tissues underpins growth and development. The stem acts as a conduit between the upper and low domains of the plant, facilitating transport of solutes and water from the roots to the shoot system, and sugar plus other elaborated metabolites towards the non-photosynthetic organs. In order to perform this function efficiently, the stem needs to be optimized for transport. This is achieved through the formation of vasculature that connects the whole plant but also through connectivity signatures that reduce path length distributions outside the vascular system. This protocol was devised to characterize how cell connectivity affects the bulk flow of molecules traversing the stem. This is achieved by exposing young seedlings to fluorescein, for which no specific transporter is assumed to be present in A. thaliana, and assessing the relative concentration of this fluorescent compound in individual cells of the embryonic stem (hypocotyl) using confocal microscopy and quantitative 3D image analysis after a given exposure time.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2791
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2018


  • Connectomics
  • Tissue architecture
  • Cellular networks
  • Bulk flow characterization


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