, Volume 168, Issue 3–4, pp 141–152 | Cite as

Hydrostatic pressure mimics gravitational pressure in characean cells

  • M. P. Staves
  • R. Wayne
  • A. C. Leopold


Hydrostatic pressure applied to one end of a horizontalChara cell induces a polarity of cytoplasmic streaming, thus mimicking the effect of gravity. A positive hydrostatic pressure induces a more rapid streaming away from the applied pressure and a slower streaming toward the applied pressure. In contrast, a negative pressure induces a more rapid streaming toward and a slower streaming away from the applied pressure. Both the hydrostatic pressure-induced and gravity-induced polarity of cytoplasmic streaming respond identically to cell ligation, UV microbeam irradiation, external Ca2+ concentrations, osmotic pressure, neutral red, TEA Cl, and the Ca2+ channel blockers nifedipine and LaCl3. In addition, hydrostatic pressure applied to the bottom of a vertically-oriented cell can abolish and even reverse the gravity-induced polarity of cytoplasmic streaming. These data indicate that both gravity and hydrostatic pressure act at the same point of the signal transduction chain leading to the induction of a polarity of cytoplasmic streaming and support the hypothesis that characean cells respond to gravity by sensing a gravity-induced pressure differential between the cell ends.


Calcium Chara corallina Cytoplasmic streaming Gravity perception Hydrostatic pressure Sensory transduction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. P. Staves
    • 1
  • R. Wayne
    • 1
  • A. C. Leopold
    • 2
  1. 1.Section of Plant BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Boyce Thompson InstituteCornell UniversityIthaca

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