Solute transport within grape berries inferred from the paramagnetic properties of manganese

Ryan J. Dean, Simon J. Clarke, Suzy Y. Rogiers, Timothy Stait-Gardner, William S. Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tracer compounds used for studying solute transport should ideally have identical functions and transport properties to the molecules they are designed to mimic. Unfortunately, the xylem-mobile tracer compounds currently used to infer solute transport mechanisms in botanical specimens such as the fruit of the grapevine, Vitis vinifera L., are typically xenobiotic and have difficulty exiting the xylem during berry ripening. Here it is demonstrated that the transport of paramagnetic Mn ions can be indirectly observed within the grape berry, using relaxation magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Mn ions from a 10mM Mn chloride solution were taken up into the grape berry via the pedicel and moved through the peripheral vasculature before exiting into surrounding pericarp tissue. Mn did not exit evenly across the berry, implying that the berry xylem influences which sites Mn exits the vasculature 'downstream' of the berry pedicel. It was also found that when the cellular membranes of pericarp tissues were disrupted, the distribution of Mn through the pericarp tissue became noticeably more homogenous. This indicates that the cellular membranes of extra-vascular cells affect the spatial distribution of Mn across the berry extra-vascular pericarp tissue upon exiting the grape berry vasculature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-977
Number of pages9
JournalFunctional Plant Biology
Issue number10
Early online date14 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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