The node, a hub for mineral nutrient distribution in graminaceous plants

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246 Citations (Scopus)


Mineral elements, including both essential and toxic elements, are delivered to different tissues after they are taken up from the roots, but the mechanism (or mechanisms) underlying the distribution remains poorly understood. In graminaceous plants, this distribution occurs in nodes, which have a complex, well-organized vascular system. A transfer of mineral elements between different vascular bundles is required, especially for preferential distribution to developing tissues that have low transpiration but high nutrient requirements. This intervascular transfer is mediated by various transporters localized at different cells in the node. In this opinion article, we propose four modes of distribution for different mineral elements: xylem-switch, phloem-tropic, phloem-kickback, and minimum-shift, based on specific molecular transport processes identified in the nodes mainly of rice (Oryza sativa). We also discuss the prospects for future studies on mineral nutrient distribution in the nodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-563
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Graminaceous plants
  • Intervascular transfer
  • Node
  • Preferential mineral nutrient distribution
  • Transporter
  • Xylem transfer cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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