Hydraulic strategy of cactus trichome for absorption and storage of water under arid environment

Kiwoong Kim, Hyejeong Kim, Sung Ho Park, Sang Joon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Being an essential component in various metabolic activities, water is important for the survival of plants and animals. Cacti grown in arid areas have developed intrinsic water management systems, such as water collection through spines, water absorption through trichome, and water storage using mucilage. The water collection method of cactus is well-documented, but its water absorption and storage strategies remain to be elucidated. Thus, this study analyzed the morphology and wettability of cactus trichomes by using advanced bio-imaging techniques and by performing in vitro experiments on an artificial system mimicking these structures, respectively. In addition, the in situ water absorption process through the trichome cluster was quantitatively visualized. This paper proposes a new bio-inspired technique for dew collection based on information about the water management strategies of cactus. This study discusses the underlying water absorption and storage strategies of cactus and provides the experimental database required to develop a biomimetic water management device.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1777
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 18
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP) (No. 2016R1E1A2A01939202 and 2017R1A2B3005415).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Kim, Kim, Ho Park and Joon Lee.


  • Cactus
  • Survival strategy
  • Water absorption
  • Water pathway
  • Water storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydraulic strategy of cactus trichome for absorption and storage of water under arid environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this