Plants have a number of different methods to enhance their water uptake. Hydrophobic membranes, Aquaporin-rich membranes, and symbiotic relationships with mycorrhizal fungi are just a few examples. Increasing the water potential of leaves is also another common method.

Hydrophobic membranes

Plants have a hydrophobic inner membrane that helps facilitate water uptake. Aquaporins are proteins found in the cell membrane that facilitate water entry into root cells. Aquaporin levels are controlled by a variety of mechanisms and can be regulated in response to environmental conditions.


The root membrane is a composite structure with a symplastic and apoplastic component. It allows high water permeability, but is low in solute permeability, which is unusual for plants with homogeneous membranes. The two components are connected by plasmodesmata. These pathways would be combined together to achieve rapid water exchange.

Normally, the apoplastic and cell-to-cell pathways are used with varying intensities in the presence of different forces. In the presence of an osmotic gradient, both pathways would be used. However, when a plant cell faces a hydraulic gradient, cell-to-cell transport dominates.


The permeability of plant cell membranes is greater than the permeability of solutes, which would prevent primary active water flow. Roots, unlike leaves, do not actively take up water; rather, they allow water to pass through them in response to water potential gradients. The result is a complex pattern of water flow.

A complex root structure explains the variable hydraulic conductivity of plants. The root membrane is arranged in a series of cylinders and consists of several tissues arranged within the root cylinder. These tissues include the epidermis, endodermis, and suberin lamellae.

In addition to water uptake, hydrophobic membranes would improve nutrient uptake by a plant cell. Moreover, these membranes would help plants maintain their nutrient balance under drought stress and increase their resistance to environmental stresses. The result would be a plant with improved growth and higher resistance to drought.

The xylem of many plants is made of thin tubes. This provides a pathway for water to travel up the stem. These tubes are hydrophobic, but are also polar, and the hydrogen bonds between them will cause them to move up the stem.

A new study suggests that the presence of ABA is necessary for ABA biosynthesis in the root. ABA biosynthesis in roots helps compensate for the dilution of the water taken by the plant cell and enhances its hydraulic conductance. ABA biosynthesis is found in all root cells, but in root tips it appears to be stronger. The authors also propose a model for the distribution of ABA in plants.

Aquaporin-rich membranes

The functions of aquaporins have been studied in both plants and animals. Several studies in plants have found that aquaporins increase water uptake in cells that are drought-sensitive. For example, a study from the halophyte M. crystallinum found that plants lacking aquaporins reduced water uptake in the cell. This reduction is consistent with the reduction in Lp. Other studies have reported up-regulation of certain aquaporin isoforms in plants. In addition, some studies have suggested that cell-specific stimulation of aquaporins may favor water mobilization in discrete compartments.

Aquaporin activity is regulated by free Ca2+ and cytosolic pH. Plants may be affected by environmental factors such as ethylene, which increases cytosolic Ca2+ concentration and inhibits aquaporin activity. In addition, plants that receive sufficient P from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi have greater water tolerance than those that lack it.

Aquaporins are small integral proteins located in the plasma membrane and tonoplast. They play important roles in plant water relations, regulating osmotic potential, hydraulic conductivity, and cellular water transport. Furthermore, their tetramer assembly is involved in cellular trafficking.

Aquaporin-rich membranes enhance plant water uptake by increasing water permeability. This increases water transport and enhances plant tolerance to drought stress. Furthermore, they increase plant growth. In fact, plants that have high aquaporin content recover rapidly from drought stress and increase shoot water status.

The most important AQPs in plants are plasma membrane intrinsic proteins (PIPs). Most PIPs are found in plasma membranes and are generally located in organs with high water flux. They contain basic amino acids at the C-terminus. In plants, there are 13 aquaporin genes.

Increased leaf water potential

Plant tissues display a relationship between water potential and relative water content. This relationship varies depending on the type of plant and environmental conditions. For example, in a semiarid grassland community in Hungary, three groups of species can be distinguished. Two of the groups have moderate changes in leaf water potential. These plants are drought tolerant and have deep roots. One species in each group has permanent water resources.

Leaf water potentials varied between species and were higher in species that utilised deeper water sources. However, they showed less negative dD and less negative d18O than those of species that used shallow water sources. This may be because larger species have larger hydraulic capacity. Meanwhile, the smaller species may have less water reserve but maintain a high PsPD value despite a decrease in water content.

In plant cells, water vapor concentration is lower in the internal cavity than in the surrounding solution. This is because of osmosis. The process of water filtration helps plants absorb water. However, in the absence of water, the uptake of water is inhibited.

The water potential in the xylem of nearly all terrestrial plants is negative. This is because of the transpiration of leaves, and the presence of cohesive forces between water molecules. This causes negative pressure. However, when these forces are balanced, a higher surface tension is created. The resulting concavity is stronger than the negative pressure in the xylem. In addition, solutes dissolved in xylem sap contribute to the decrease in xylem water potential.

During the water vapor pressure reduction process, water vapor pressure in the leaves of plants reduces. This effect is responsible for bias in measurement of stomatal conductance and leaf internal CO2 concentration. It is important to incorporate leaf water potential into leaf gas exchange measurement systems to eliminate this bias.

Increased leaf water potential is an important aspect of water uptake by plants. It is important to understand how the root system accesses groundwater and bedrock water in a drought. A lack of water access at these locations limits the efficiency of water uptake by plants.