Tracking solute movement through PD non-invasively

Additional projects in the lab explore the movement of solutes and macromolecules through PD using a combination of approaches, including microinjection and the use of caged probes and photoactivatable fluorescent proteins. The combined use of these techniques is illustrated in a recent publication (Christensen et al. 2009) in which we demonstrated that the PD connecting the basal cell wall of the trichome with the leaf epidermis are capable of conducting unidirectional solute transport.

Trichomes can be ester-loaded with fluorescent probes via the apical, secretory cell. Here, fluoresein dicetate is being loaded via a microcapillary. The membrane-impermeant fluorescein moiety travels through the chain of trichome cells (fluorescent image to right) via PD but does not enter the epidermis