Journal Article

Studies on Mechano-perception in the Characeae: Transduction of Pressure Signals into Electrical Signals

Teruo Shimmen

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 44, issue 11, pages 1215-1224
Published in print November 2003 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online November 2003 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcg151
Studies on Mechano-perception in the Characeae: Transduction of Pressure Signals into Electrical Signals

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Mechanoperception by Chara cells was studied with an emphasis on the role of the nodal complex in transducing pressure signals into electrical signals. Three types of experimental material were used: (1) tandem internodal cells connected by a single layer of nodal cells; (2) single internodal cells, from which either apical or basal nodes were removed by ligation and cutting; (3) single internodes from which both nodes had been removed. Exposure to a hypertonic solution (sorbitol or sucrose) induced a depolarization at the node in 1 and 2. Depolarization did not occur at the ligated end of the cell in 2, or at all in 3. Addition of K+ increased the magnitude of the response, whilst it was significantly decreased by the divalent cations, Ca2+ and Mg2+. Electrical resistance decreased at the node during the depolarization, showing that a passive diffusion potential was responsible. I suggest that the change in the trans-nodal hydraulic pressure difference mechanically stretches the plasma membrane, and this induces the electrical depolarization.

Keywords: Keywords: Chara — Depolarization — Ion channel — Mechano-perception — Membrane potential — Turgor pressure.; Abbreviations: APW, artificial pond water; APW200, APW supplemented with 200 mM sorbitol; EA, electrode in pool A; EAB, potential difference between pools A and B; EB, electrode in pool B; Em, membrane potential; [KCl], KCl concentration in external medium; LB, length of portion of the cell in pool B; TCO, transcellular osmosis.

Journal Article.  7289 words.  Illustrated.

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

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