Journal Article

Roles of the bundle sheath cells in leaves of C<sub>3</sub> plants

Richard C. Leegood

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 7, pages 1663-1673
Published in print May 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
Roles of the bundle sheath cells in leaves of C3 plants

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  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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This review considers aspects of the structure and functions of the parenchymatous bundle sheath that surrounds the veins in the leaves of many C3 plants. It includes a discussion of bundle sheath structure and its related structures (bundle sheath extensions and the paraveinal mesophyll), its relationship to the mestome sheath in some grasses, and its chloroplast content. Its metabolic roles in photosynthesis, carbohydrate synthesis and storage, the import and export of nitrogen and sulphur, and the metabolism of reactive oxygen species are discussed and are compared with the role of the bundle sheath in leaves of C4 plants. Its role as an interface between the vasculature and the mesophyll is considered in relation to the movement of water and assimilates during leaf development, export of photosynthates, and senescence.

Keywords: Bundle sheath; C3 plants; C4 photosynthesis; compartmentation; leaf metabolism

Journal Article.  7637 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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