Plants are characterized by a negative hydrostatic pressure, brought about by transpiration and by capillary activity of xylem vessels (Taiz and Zeiger, 2010). Because of this, a stem that is being cut sucks up what is nearby. Often this is air but it may also be liquid. The diameter of the xylem vessels is 50-100 μm, so when the liquid contains bacteria (that are typically 0.5-5.0 μm), they will enter deeply into the tissue (Askari et al., 2014; De Klerk et al., 2014). To our knowledge, this alleged source of contamination has never been examined.
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