, Volume 180, Issue 3–4, pp 118–135 | Cite as

The relationship between carbon and water transport in single cells ofChara corallina

  • R. Wayne
  • T. Mimura
  • T. Shimmen
Original Papers


The hydraulic resistance of the plasma membrane was measured on single internodal cells ofChara corallina using the method of transcellular osmosis. The hydraulic resistance of the plasma membrane of high CO2-grown cells was significantly higher than the hydraulic resistance of the plasma membrane in low CO2-grown cells. Therefore we tested the possibility that the “bicarbonate transport system”, postulated to be present in low CO2-grown cells, serves as a water channel that lowers the hydraulic resistance of the plasma membrane. We were unable to find any correlation between agents that inhibited the “bicarbonate transport system” and agents that increased the hydraulic resistance of low CO2-grown cells. We did, however, find a correlation between the permeability of the cell to water and CO2. We propose that the reduced hydraulic resistance of the plasma membrane of the low CO2-grown cells is a function of a change in either the structural properties of the lipid bilayer or the activity of a CO2 transport protein so that under conditions of reduced inorganic carbon, the plasma membrane becomes more permeable to CO2, and consequently to other small molecules, including H2O, methanol and ethanol.


Carbon transport Chara corallina CO2 permeability Hydraulic resistance Plasma membrane Water transport 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Wayne
    • 1
    • 2
  • T. Mimura
    • 1
  • T. Shimmen
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Molecular Biomechanics, Department of Life Science, Faculty of ScienceHimeji Institute of TechnologyHyogo
  2. 2.Section of Plant BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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