Plant communication/sensing references wanted

Tony Travis ajt at
Fri Dec 18 19:06:13 EST 1992

In article <921218151818.MIN-LNTAa20035.bionet-news at> you wrote:
: In article <1992Dec16.001934.23792 at> ajt at writes:
: [...mimosa pulvinus mechanism discussion deleted...]
: >The analogy with propagation of nerve impulses in animals is often
: >cited in descriptions of these responses, and ion-transport is
: >certainly involved in the turgor mechanism of the pulvini.  However,
: >electrogenic proton extrusion is the fundamental ion-transport process
: >in plants and the active Na+/K+ exchanges that occur in transmission of
: >nerve impulses do not occur in plants.
:   This is interesting...apparently there is some disagreement in this area?

The fundamental ion-transport process in plants is widely accepted to
be electrogenic proton extrusion by membrane-bound ATP-ases (in effect
a reversal of chemi-osmotic ATP synthesis according to Mitchell's
hypothesis).  See for example Poole, R.J. 1978, Energy coupling for
membrane transport, Annual Review of Plant Physiology, 29, 437-460.

The other ion-transport processes are driven indirectly by the
resulting electrochemical potential gradients and moderated by
selective permeability of the membrane to different ions.

Although net Na+/K+ exchanges are observed in plant cells (Na+ efflux
and K+ influx) the Na+/K+ antiport found in animal cells does not occur
in plant cells, to the best of my knowledge.  I'm sure Bill will
correct me if Na+/K+ antiport has been demonstrated in plants ;-)

Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  Tony Travis
Rowett Research Institute,            |  JANET: <ajt at>
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |  other: <ajt at>
Aberdeen, AB2 9SB. UK.                |  phone: 0224-712751

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