, Volume 251, Issue 6, pp 1481–1490 | Cite as

Proton flows across the plasma membrane in microperforated characean internodes: tonoplast injury and involvement of cytoplasmic streaming

Original Article


Microperforation of characean cell wall with a glass micropipette in the absence of the tonoplast impalement was found to cause rapid alkalinization of the apoplast by 2–3 pH units, which may rigidify the cell wall structure, thus protecting the cell from further injury. A similar but a deeper insertion of a microneedle, associated with piercing the tonoplast and with an action potential generation, led to a considerable delay in the apoplast alkalinization without affecting the amplitude of the eventual increase in pH. The retardation by the mechanically elicited action potential of the incision-mediated pH transients in the apoplast contrasted sharply to the enhancement of these pH transients by the action potential triggered electrically before the microperforation. Hence, the delay of the apoplast alkalinization was not related to basic ionic mechanisms of plant action potentials. Measurements of the vacuolar pH after mechanical elicitation of an action potential indicate that the tonoplast piercing was accompanied by leakage of protons from the vacuole into the cytoplasm, which may strongly acidify the cytoplasm around the wounded area, thus collapsing the driving force for H+ influx from the medium into the cytoplasm. The lag period preceding the onset of external alkalinization was found linearly related to the duration of temporal cessation of cytoplasmic streaming. The results suggest that the delayed alkalinization of the apoplast in the region of tonoplast wounding reflects the localized recovery of the proton motive force across the plasmalemma during replacement of the acidic cytoplasm with fresh portions of unimpaired cytoplasm upon restoration of cytoplasmic streaming.


Chara corallina Cyclosis Cytoplasmic acidification Cell wounding Action potential Proton flows 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of BiologyLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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