- Experimental and Mathematical modeling of radial water transport in plants hal link

Auteur(s): Boursiac Yann, Felbacq D., Velez-Cardona Ana Maria, Lhuissier Henri, Metzger Bloen

Conference: Physics-Biology Interface (web conference, FR, 2020-12-17)

Ref HAL: hal-03080457_v1
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Water transport in plant roots is of vital importance: it is a necessary transport to feed the rest of the organism in most vascular plants. To reach the xylem vessels, which ensure the long-distance transport to the aerial parts of the plant, water has first to flow across the root tissues surrounding the xylem. This flow, denoted to as radial transport, is not easily amenable to the experimentation, and has been studied mostly by measurements at a larger scale, and by models that poorly take into account cells and roots geometries. We adopted a continuous description of stationary root radial water transport to investigate how the geometry and the permeability contrasts between root compartments affect the transport of water. We experimentally modeled the root radial section as a two-dimensional and composite porous material with variable water permeabilities. It mimics the most salient water transport features of the root anatomy and allows a direct isualization of the water pathways. We also present 2D continuous numerical simulations of the water flow, in which we systematically varied the permeabilities of the different tissues. Our approach provides the physical premises to explain preferential sub-cellular radial routes from one cell to another and look for the subcellular pattern of structures or molecules involved in water transport.