, Volume 173, Issue 4, pp 490–499 | Cite as

Blue light promotes ionic current influx at the growing apex ofVaucheria terrestris

  • Hironao Kataoka
  • Manfred H. Weisenseel


Irradiation of the growing apex of the algaVaucheria terrestris Götz var.terrestris with blue light (BL), which causes a transient acceleration of growth, also causes a large transient increase in inwardly directed current, which was monitored with a vibrating probe. The growing apex is normally the site of an inward current, and the surface of the non-growing, basal part of the coenocytic cell the site of an outward current. Irradiation of the apex causes only a slight increase in current efflux at the basal part of the cell. The BL-promoted current influx at the apex (BLCI) usually starts within 10 s after the onset of irradiation, preceding the light-growth response. With BL pulses shorter than 3 min, the BLCI reaches a maximum in about 3 min, and then declines to its original value over the next 3 min. If the BL pulse is longer than 3 min, the BLCI continues until the light is turned off. The threshold energy of the BLCI with broad-band BL is 2–5 J·m-2, i.e. smaller than for both the light-growth response and phototropic response. The maximum BLCI reaches a value of approx. 5 μA·cm-2, equivalent to an influx of 50 pmol·cm-2·s-1 of monovalent cations. The effect of red light (RL) is completely different from that of BL: it either causes increases in the inward current of less than 0.3 μA·cm-2, or a transient decrease of current. Furthermore, the direction of the RL-induced change is always the same at the apex and trunk, indicating the participation of photosynthesis. Our results indicate that the BLCI is kinetically and spatially related to the light-growth response and the phototropic bending ofVaucheria. It seems to be a necessary step for the phototropic bending.

Key words

Blue light Ionic current Light-growth response Phototropism (VaucheriaVaucheria Vibrating probe Xanthophyta 



artificial pond water


blue light


blue-light-induced current influx


light-growth response


red light


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hironao Kataoka
    • 1
  • Manfred H. Weisenseel
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Agricultural ResearchTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Botanisches Institut der Universität (TH)KarlsruheFederal Republic of Germany

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