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Non-invasive hydrodynamic imaging in plant roots at cellular resolution

Pascut, Flavius C.; Couvreur, Valentin; Dietrich, Daniela; Leftley, Nicky; Reyt, Guilhem; Boursiac, Yann; Calvo-Polanco, Monica; Casimiro, Ilda; Maurel, Christophe; Salt, David E.; Draye, Xavier; Wells, Darren M.; Bennett, Malcolm J.; Webb, Kevin F.

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Valentin Couvreur

Daniela Dietrich

Guilhem Reyt

Yann Boursiac

Monica Calvo-Polanco

Ilda Casimiro

Christophe Maurel

David E. Salt

Xavier Draye

Principal Research Fellow


A key impediment to studying water-related mechanisms in plants is the inability to non-invasively image water fluxes in cells at high temporal and spatial resolution. Here, we report that Raman microspectroscopy, complemented by hydrodynamic modelling, can achieve this goal - monitoring hydrodynamics within living root tissues at cell- and sub-second-scale resolutions. Raman imaging of water-transporting xylem vessels in Arabidopsis thaliana mutant roots reveals faster xylem water transport in endodermal diffusion barrier mutants. Furthermore, transverse line scans across the root suggest water transported via the root xylem does not re-enter outer root tissues nor the surrounding soil when en-route to shoot tissues if endodermal diffusion barriers are intact, thereby separating ‘two water worlds’.


Pascut, F. C., Couvreur, V., Dietrich, D., Leftley, N., Reyt, G., Boursiac, Y., …Webb, K. F. (2021). Non-invasive hydrodynamic imaging in plant roots at cellular resolution. Nature Communications, 12(1), 1-7.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 7, 2021
Online Publication Date Aug 3, 2021
Publication Date Dec 1, 2021
Deposit Date Jul 19, 2021
Publicly Available Date Aug 4, 2021
Journal Nature Communications
Electronic ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Article Number 1682
Pages 1-7
Public URL
Publisher URL


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