, Volume 225, Issue 6, pp 1471–1481

Cuticular permeance in relation to wax and cutin development along the growing barley (Hordeum vulgare) leaf


  • Andrew Richardson
    • Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of Paisley
  • Tobias Wojciechowski
    • Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of Paisley
  • Rochus Franke
    • Department of Ecophysiology, IZMBUniversity of Bonn
  • Lukas Schreiber
    • Department of Ecophysiology, IZMBUniversity of Bonn
  • Gerhard Kerstiens
    • Lancaster Environment Centre, Department of Biological SciencesLancaster University
  • Mike Jarvis
    • Department of ChemistryUniversity of Glasgow
    • Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of Paisley
    • UCD School of Biology and Environmental Sciences, UCD Science Centre WestUniversity College Dublin
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-006-0456-0

Cite this article as:
Richardson, A., Wojciechowski, T., Franke, R. et al. Planta (2007) 225: 1471. doi:10.1007/s00425-006-0456-0


The developing leaf three of barley provides an excellent model system for the direct determination of relationships between amounts of waxes and cutin and cuticular permeance. Permeance of the cuticle was assessed via the time-course of uptake of either toluidine blue or 14C-labelled benzoic acid ([14C] BA) along the length of the developing leaf. Toluidine blue uptake only occurred within the region 0–25 mm from the point of leaf insertion (POLI). Resistance—the inverse of permeance—to uptake of [14C] BA was determined for four leaf regions and was lowest in the region 10–20 mm above POLI. At 20–30 and 50–60 mm above POLI, it increased by factors of 6 and a further 32, respectively. Above the point of emergence of leaf three from the sheath of leaf two, which was 76–80 mm above POLI, resistance was as high as at 50–60 mm above POLI. GC-FID/MS analyses of wax and cutin showed that: (1) the initial seven fold increase in cuticular resistance coincided with increase in cutin coverage and appearance of waxes; (2) the second, larger and final increase in cuticle resistance was accompanied by an increase in wax coverage, whereas cutin coverage remained unchanged; (3) cutin deposition in barley leaf epidermis occurred in parallel with cell elongation, whereas deposition of significant amounts of wax commenced as cells ceased to elongate.


Cuticular permeanceCutinEpidermal cell developmentHordeumLeaf growthTranspirational water lossWax



Benzoic acid


Flame ionization detector


Gas chromatography


Mass spectrometry


Photosynthetically active radiation


Point of emergence


Point of leaf insertion


Relative humidity


Scanning electron microscopy

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006