PhD Kazimierz Trebacz
Department of Plant Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biological Sciences Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Akademicka 19, 20-033 Lublin, Poland
 kazimierz.trebacz@poczta.umcs.lublin.pl

Long-distance signaling in plants: electrophysiological and molecular approach

PhD Kazimierz Trebacz

Plants as sessile organisms have developed a sophisticated system of adequate responses to environmental stimuli like changes in illumination, temperature, humidity etc., and many biotic and abiotic stressors causing partial plant damage. The long-distance signaling system, in addition to the chemical one based mainly on volatiles, consists of electrical signals: action potentials APs and variation potentials VPs. The ability to generate APs evolved already in algae and continued in Bryophyte after plant terrestrialization. In addition to APs, vascular plants, i.e. the next step in plant evolution, generate VPs in response to severe damaging stimuli like wounding or burning. The mechanism of APs and VPs has been examined for years with application of electrophysiological methods: extra- and intracellular potential measurements, voltage- and patch-clamp, ion-selective microelectrodes, MIFE, etc. The recent progress in molecular biology has resulted in genetic identification of potential players in AP/VP electrogenesis – ion channels. The development of optical methods of cytoplasmic Ca2+ imaging, especially GCaMP, allows observation of calcium waves accompanying APs or VPs. A combination of electrophysiological techniques, Ca2+ imaging, and experiments on ion channel mutants accelerate the process of detailed recognition of the molecular mechanism of AP and VP generation and their physiological consequences.

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