An elongated cell in the phloem of a vascular plant, in which the primary wall is perforated by pores through which water is conducted.
- On reaching individual sieve elements of the phloem the terminal hyphae cells differentiate into ‘absorbing hyphae’ which produce finger-like protrusions that surround the sieve element.
- In fact, in several species, sucrose transporters have been identified as essential for phloem loading into sieve elements, the phloem-specific photoassimilate-transporting cells.
- Little is known about the genetic control of cell type identity leading to the differentiation of vessels, fibres, axial parenchyma cells, sieve elements, or companion cells.
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