Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 108, Issue 2, pp 211–223 | Cite as

Propagation of the neuroid action potential of the carnivorous plantDrosera

  • Stephen E. Williams
  • Roger M. Spanswick


The neuroid action potentials ofDrosera rotundifolia recorded from single cells resemble those recorded from the surface of tentacle stalks. They have similar amplitudes and durations and they show the same variation of duration with interval that characterizes the extracellularly recorded action potentials. All living cells of the stalk appear to be excitable since cells from both layers were observed to produce action potentials when intracellular recording techniques were used.

Propagation of electrically induced action potentials down the stalk occurred at a rate of 4.3 mm/s±0.6 S.E.M. while propagation up the stalk occurred at a rate of 9.9 mm/s±2.0 S.E.M. The fact that attenuated signals from electrical processes and stimulus artifacts in distant parts of the stalk were detected in recordings indicates that the cells of the stalk were closely coupled and that propagation from cell to cell is probably by an electrotonic mechanism. This hypothesis gains additional support from the observation of numerous cytoplasmic connections (plasmodesmata) through the cell walls separating the cells which are most likely to conduct the action potential.


Cell Wall Living Cell Single Cell Distant Part Intracellular Recording 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen E. Williams
    • 1
  • Roger M. Spanswick
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Genetics, Development and PhysiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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