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The phloem transports nutrients, defensive compounds, and informational signals throughout vascular plants. Sampling the complex components of mobile phloem sap is difficult because of the damage incurred when the pressurized sieve tubes are breached. In this review we discuss sampling methods, the artifacts that can be introduced by different sampling procedures, the intricate pathways by which materials enter and exit the phloem, and the major types of compounds transported. Loading anddoi:10.1146/annurev.arplant.043008.092045 pmid:19025382 fatcat:mrdershcv5hsvlu5o4r47ewqtu