Biomagnetic measurements of possible transnodal spreading of action potential in green algae Chara corallina

 F. Baudenbacher2, L. E. Fong2, V. Jazbinsek1, G. Thiel3, Z. Trontelj1

1IMFM, U. of Ljubljana, Slovenia; 2Vanderbilt U., Nashville, USA; 3Inst. of Botany, TU Darmstadt, BRD

The green alga Chara corallina is the plant equivalent to the squid axon in studying ion transport in plants. Extensive experimental work was stimulated by the simple cylindrical geometry of their single internodal cells, which allowed to study the propagation of electrical excitation. Less attention has been devoted to an understanding of the electrical connections between adjacent cells or through the entire plant. These simple plants comprise a linear chain of cells, where the two long internodal cells are connected via a structure of smaller nodal cells. The aim of our research was to study the cellular conduction properties when the action potential (AP) signal reaches the end of internodal cell of a Chara internode. In particular, what is the response of the nodal cellular structure and still more, how much of the excitation is transferred to the next neighboring internodal cell.