Journal Article

Electrical Perception of “Death Message” in <i>Chara</i>: Involvement of Turgor Pressure

Teruo Shimmen

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 42, issue 4, pages 366-373
Published in print April 2001 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online April 2001 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
Electrical Perception of “Death Message” in
Chara: Involvement of Turgor

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


Show Summary Details


Plants show various defense responses upon wounding. Surviving cells must perceive a “death message” from killed cells in order to start the signal processing that results in defense responses. The initial step in perception of the death message by a surviving cell was studied by taking advantage of the filamentous morphology of characean algae. A specimen comprising two adjoining internodal cells was prepared. One cell (the victim cell) was killed by cutting and any changes in the membrane potential of the neighboring cell (the receptor cell) were analyzed. Upon cutting the victim cell, at least one of three kinds of response were induced in the receptor cell: (1) slow depolarization lasting more than 10 min, (2) action potentials and (3) small spikes. The first of these response types, slow depolarization, was ubiquitous and is the focus of the present study. Two cell properties were essential for generation of this depolarization. (1) Presence of high cell turgor pressure was necessary. (2) The depolarization was generated only at the nodal end of the receptor cell, not at the flank. I concluded that the death message from the killed cell contains the information that turgor pressure has been lost. The mechanism by which this is translated into the slow depolarization of the receptor cell was discussed.

Keywords: Key words: Chara — Death message — Membrane potential — Plasmodesmata — Proton pump — Wounding response.; Abbreviations: APW, artificial pond water; DCCD, dicyclohexylcarbodiimide; EA, electrode in pool A; EAB, potential difference between pools A and B; EB, electrode in pool B; Em, membrane potential: (Em)r, resting membrane potential; LB, length of portion of receptor cell in pool B: Lp, length of partition between pools A and B; R cell, receptor cell; V cell, victim cell.

Journal Article.  5658 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.