A direct observation of embolism repair in intact plants is essential in order to understand the mechanisms that regulate water transport in plants. Ryu et al. demonstrate rapid radial water-refilling and removal of gas bubbles in intact maize leaves, by X-ray micro-imaging of embolised xylem vessels.
Water refilling along the radial direction leads to rapid recovery from embolism within several minutes. These findings on the xylem refilling process in a well-watered plant could stimulate discussion on embolism repair mechanisms that are not osmotically driven in monocotyledon, herbaceous plants.
Jeongeun Ryu, Bae Geun Hwang, Sang Joon Lee, 2016, 'In vivodynamic analysis of water refilling in embolized xylem vessels of intact Zea mays leaves', Annals of Botany, vol. 118, no. 5, pp. 1033-1042 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw145