Journal Article

Turgor, temperature and the growth of plant cells: using <i>Chara corallina</i> as a model system

Timothy E. Proseus, Guo‐Li Zhu and John S. Boyer

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 51, issue 350, pages 1481-1494
Published in print September 2000 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online September 2000 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
Turgor, temperature and the growth of plant cells: using Chara corallina as a model system

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Rapid changes in turgor pressure (P) and temperature (T) are giving new information about the mechanisms of plant growth. In the present work, single internode cells of the large‐celled alga Chara corallina were used as a model for plant growth. P was changed without altering the chemical environment of the wall while observing growth without elastic changes. When P was measured before any changes, the original growth rate bore no relationship to the original P. However, if P of growing cells was decreased, growth responded immediately without evidence for rapid changes in wall physical properties. Growth occurred only above a 0.3 MPa threshold, and increasing P caused small increases in growth that became progressively larger as P rose, resulting in a curvilinear response overall. The small changes in growth close to the threshold may explain early failures to detect these responses. When T was lowered, the elastic properties of the cell were unaffected, but growth was immediately inhibited. The lower T caused P to decrease, but returning P to its original value did not return growth to its original rate. The decreased P at low T occurred because of T effects on the osmotic potential of the cell. At above‐normal P, growth partially resumed at low T. Therefore, growth required a P‐sensitive process that was also T‐sensitive. Because elastic properties were little affected by T, but growth was markedly affected, the process is likely to involve metabolism. The rapidity of its response to P and T probably excludes the participation of changes in gene expression.

Keywords: Elastic effects; cell walls; cell enlargement; wall properties.; L, length; dL/dt, change in length with time; P, turgor pressure; T, temperature; Ψw, water potential; Ψs, osmotic potential.

Journal Article.  9788 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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