Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 143, Issue 3, pp 290–296 | Cite as

Changes in turgor pressure in response to increases in external NaCl concentration in the gas-vacuolate cyanobacterium Microcystis sp.

  • R. H. Reed
  • A. E. Walsby
Original Papers


Changes in cell turgor pressure have been followed in cells of Microcystis sp. transferred to culture medium containing added NaCl at osmolalities of 30–1,500 mosmol kg-1 (≡ 74–3,680 kPa). Upon upshock turgor decreased, due to osmotically-induced water loss from the cell. However, partial recovery of turgor was then observed in illuminated cells, with maximum turgor regain in media containing 30–500 mosmol kg-1 NaCl. The lightdependent recovery of turgor pressure was completed within 60 min, with no evidence of further changes in cell turgor up to 24 h. This is the first direct evidence that turgor regulation may occur in a prokaryotic organism. Short-term increases in cell K+ content were also observed upon upshock in NaCl, indicating that turgor regain may involve a turgorsensitive K+ uptake system. Estimation of internal K+ concentration in cells transferred to 250 mosmol kg-1 NaCl showed that changes in cell K+ may account for at least half of the observed turgor regain up to 60 min.

Key words

Cyanobacteria Turgor pressure Salt shock Turgor regulation K+ uptake, Microcystis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. H. Reed
    • 1
  • A. E. Walsby
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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