Measuring Arabidopsis, Tomato and Barley Leaf Relative Water Content (RWC)   

Edited by
Tie Liu
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Original research article

A brief version of this protocol appeared in:
Plant Physiology
Aug 2014


Measuring leaf relative water content (RWC) is a reliable and simple way to assess the water status of a leaf without any need for special equipment. Similar to leaf water potential, leaf RWC gives a strong indication of the plant’s response to different environmental conditions; yet RWC has been shown to be a more stable parameter than leaf water potential (Sade et al., 2009; Sade et al., 2012). Although measuring RWC is destructive to the leaf, with proper planning, it need not affect the plant’s behavior. This note will focus on three different model plants which are representative of plants with various leaf shapes (e.g., Arabidopsis, tomato and barley). The technique for measuring RWC is the same for all three of these species (as well as for plants with many other types of leaves).

Keywords: Relative water content, Leaf water content, Drought stress, Salt stress

Copyright: © 2015 The Authors; exclusive licensee Bio-protocol LLC.
How to cite:  Readers should cite both the Bio-protocol article and the original research article where this protocol was used:
  1. Sade, N., Galkin, E. and Moshelion, M. (2015). Measuring Arabidopsis, Tomato and Barley Leaf Relative Water Content (RWC). Bio-protocol 5(8): e1451. DOI: 10.21769/BioProtoc.1451.
  2. Sade, D., Sade, N., Shriki, O., Lerner, S., Gebremedhin, A., Karavani, A., Brotman, Y., Osorio, S., Fernie, A. R., Willmitzer, L., Czosnek, H. and Moshelion, M. (2014). Water balance, hormone homeostasis, and sugar signaling are all involved in Tomato resistance to Tomato yellow leaf curl virus. Plant Physiol 165(4): 1684-1697.

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