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The Symplast pathway is one of the paths which water takes to move through the cells of a plant. It is a system of interconnected protoplasts in the plant. Some water is lost to the sub-stomatal air space from the cytoplasm of cells surrounding it. The water potential of this cytoplasm is therefore made more negative (lower). Between adjacent cells are plasmodesmata - tiny pores in the cell wall between plant cells through which a living strand of cytoplasm runs between two cells which links the cytoplasm of one cell to the cells around it.

Water may pass along these plasmodesmata from adjacent cells with a less negative (higher) water potential. This loss of water makes the water potential of the second cell more negative (lower), which may in turn replace the water with water from cells with a less negative (higher) water potential.

In this way, a steady concentration gradient is set up between the sub-stomatal space and the xylem vessels of the leaf, through the cytoplasm. This is not the same method as the apoplast pathway or the less important vacuolar pathway use.

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