Journal Article

Temperature-Triggered Periodical Thermogenic Oscillations in Skunk Cabbage (<i>Symplocarpus foetidus</i>)

Kikukatsu Ito, Takanori Ito, Yoshihiko Onda and Matsuo Uemura

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 45, issue 3, pages 257-264
Published in print March 2004 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online March 2004 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pch038
Temperature-Triggered Periodical Thermogenic Oscillations in Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

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The natural occurrence of temperature-triggered and light-independent thermogenic oscillation in the spadix of skunk cabbage, Symplocarpus foetidus, was discovered. The identified thermogenic oscillator had an accurate periodical cycle (ca. 60 min per cycle) that apparently responded to an increase or decrease in the spadix temperature with a threshold of less than 0.9°C. Neither a constant ambient air temperature nor transient changes in the ambient air temperature within 10 min (19°C → 15°C → 19°C) induced the temperature oscillation in the spadix. Moreover, the periodical cycles were independent of the weight of the spadix (2.5–9.2 g) and the amplitudes of the temperature oscillations were correlated with the magnitude of the changes in the spadix temperatures. These results imply that periodical temperature oscillations in the spadix of S. foetidus possess a quantitative regulatory process that involves a temperature sensation and subsequent heat production. Based on these results, we propose a time-dependent thermogenic oscillatory model that acts as a precise thermal regulator under dynamic environmental temperature changes.

Keywords: Keywords: Heat production — Skunk cabbage — Spadix — Thermogenic oscillation — Thermoregulation — Threshold temperature.

Journal Article.  5195 words.  Illustrated.

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

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