in HortScience
Author: Robert Augé1
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  • 1 Department of Ornamental Horticulture & Landscape Design, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37901-1071

The determination of tissue water potential components is important for understanding plant growth and response to the environment. Pressure-volume (PV) analysis is often considered to give the most accurate estimate of symplastic osmotic potential. Additional information about tissue water relations can also be computed from PV curves estimates of bulk cell wall elasticity, symplastic water volume, and turgor potential at various states of tissue water content. The generation of PV curves is a time-consuming procedure, however, and involves considerable computation. This presentation describes a computer spreadsheet template for traditional evaluation of a PV curve through linear regression of the zero turgor segment. The template allows real-time plotting of the inverse ψ/ water loss relating, provides estimates of most commonly calculated PV characteristics and permits instant graphic visualizations of changes in water potential components and elasticity with changes in water potential, total tissue water and symplastic water content. The advantages of spreadsheet analysis of PV curves are simplicity, consistency, thoroughness and speed. A fleeting acquaintance with spreadsheet software and a thorough understanding of pressure-volume theory on the part of the user is assumed.

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