Journal of Plant Physiology & Pathology ISSN: 2329-955X

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Research Article, J Plant Physiol Pathol Vol: 4 Issue: 2

Arabidopsis Rapid Movement Response to Electrical Stimulation

Larissa Reggia, Kyle Hupman, Gregg A. Johnson, Donald Keller, and Diane Krill*
Department of Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology, Point Park University, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, USA
Corresponding author : Diane Krill
Professor of Biology, Department of Natural Sciences & Engineering Technology, Point Park University, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, USA
Tel: 412 392-6155
Fax: 412 392-6180
E-mail: [email protected]
Received: November 24, 2015 Accepted: April 29, 2016 Published: May 5,2016
Citation: Reggia L, Hupman K, Johnson GA, Keller D, Krill D (2016) Arabidopsis Rapid Movement Response to Electrical Stimulation. J Plant Physiol Pathol 4:2. doi:10.4172/2329-955X.1000146


Objective: Plants respond to their environment in a multitude of ways. Gradual movements occur in response to light (phototropism), and more rapid movements occur in response to touch (thigmatropism). In this report, we describe a rapid movement response that occurs in plants without any physical contact with the seedlings that is based on electric charge.

Methods: Three varieties of seeds were planted in the laboratory under sterile conditions. After 5-10 days the seedlings were tested for their response to electric field stimuli, and video responses were recorded.

Results: Plant seedlings of Thymus vulgaris, Arabidopsis thaliana and Mentha spicata, starting at the 2 or 3 leaf stage, were capable of msec movement responses to objects that conveyed an electric charge. The fluctuation in the electric field was measured with a sensor attached to an oscilloscope. The addition of a known ion channel blocker, amiloride hydrochloride, to the nutrient media inhibited the plant response in two species tested, Mentha spicata and Arabidopsis thaliana.

Conclusion: This evidence suggests that a possible mechanism for the rapid movement operates through the closure of ion channels similar to the rapid closure of the Venus flytrap.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Mentha spicata; Thymus vulgaris; Electric field; Plants; Movement response; Defense

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