, Volume 236, Issue 6, pp 1817–1829 | Cite as

Surface tip-to-base Ca2+ and H+ ionic fluxes are involved in apical growth and graviperception of the Phycomyces stage I sporangiophore

  • Branka D. ŽivanovićEmail author
Original Article


Net fluxes of Ca2+ and H+ ions were measured non-invasively close to the surface of Phycomyces blakesleeanus sporangiophores stage I using ion-selective vibrating microelectrodes. The measurements were performed on a wild type (Wt) and a gravitropic mutant A909 kept in either vertical or tilted orientation. Microelectrodes were positioned 4 μm from the surface of sporangiophore, and ion fluxes were recorded from the apical (0–20 μm) and subapical (50–100 μm) regions. The magnitude and direction of ionic fluxes measured were dependent on the distance from the tip along the growing zone of sporangiophore. Vertically oriented sporangiophores displayed characteristic tip-to-base ion fluxes patterns. Ca2+ and H+ fluxes recorded from apical region of Wt sporangiophores were inward-directed, while ion fluxes from subapical locations occurred in both directions. In contrast to Wt, mutant A909 showed opposite (outward) direction of Ca2+ fluxes and reduced H+ influxes in the apical region. Following gravistimulation, the magnitude and direction of ionic fluxes were altered. Wt sporangiophore exhibited oppositely directed fluxes on the lower (influx) and the upper (efflux) sides of the cell, while mutant A909 did not show such patterns. A variable elongation growth in vertical position and reduced growth rate upon gravistimulation were observed in both strains. The data show that tip-growing sporangiophores exhibit a tip-to-base ion flux pattern which changes characteristically upon gravistimulation in Wt in contrast to the mutant A909 with a strongly reduced gravitropic response.


Gravitropic bending Growth rate Ion-selective microelectrodes Ion fluxes Tip growth 



Artificial pond water


Automated Scanning Electrode Techniques


Gravitropically defective mutant


Wild type



This study was performed in Botanisches Institutder Universität Karlsruhe (TH), Germany, through a DAAD scholarship and partial support by Grant 173040 from the Serbian Ministry of Education and Science. The author is grateful to Prof. Dr. M.H. Weisenseel for helpful discussions, Dr. G.Monshausen for help in setting up measuring line and processing data, and Ms. B. Schlicke and Mr. W. Müller for their excellent technical assistance. The author is also grateful to Prof. Dr. Ž. Vučinić and Prof. Dr. P. Galland for their critical reading and useful suggestions during preparation of the manuscript, and to M.Sc. D. Mutavdžić for help in statistical data analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Life Sciences, Institute for Multidisciplinary ResearchUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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