, Volume 104, Issue 1, pp 73-95

Rapid plant movements triggered by action potentials

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Abstract

Rapid bendings of the pulvinus inMimosa pudica, of the trap lobes inDionaea muscipula andAldrovanda vesiculosa, and of the tentacle in Drosera are triggered by action potentials in their motor cells. The action potential ofMimosa may be a C1-spike, and that ofDionaea andAldrovanda may be a Ca2+-spike. Propagation of action potentials in the petiole or motor organ is thought to be electrotonie, cell-to-cell, transmission. The Ca 2+ release from unidentified organelles in the pulvinus or the Ca2+ influx of the cells in the trap with the action current and activation of contractile fibrillar network having ATPase activity in the cytoplasm must be involved in the rapid bending. Contractions of fibrils may open pores in the membrane of the motor cells upon activation. Outward bulk flow of the vacuolar sap through these pores, due to the pressure inside the cell, must result in turgor loss of the motor cells and then the bending of the organ.