Age dependence of the hydraulic resistances of the plasma membrane and the tonoplast (vacuolar membrane) in cells of Chara corallina


Hydraulic resistances (reciprocals of hydraulic conductivities) of the cell (Lp−1), the cell wall (Lpw−1), the membrane (Lpm−1), the plasma membrane (Lppm−1), and the tonoplast (Lptp−1) were determined in individual internodal cells of Chara corallina and their dependence on the cell age was studied. The thickness of the cell wall (d) was adopted as an index of the cell age, since the cell wall of spring-grown young cells (sg-cells) was found to be significantly thinner than that of winter-spent old cells (ws-cells). Both Lpw−1 and Lpm−1 were found to increase with cell age. Since Lpm−1 is the sum of Lppm−1 and Lptp−1, their dependence on the wall thickness was studied. It was found that both Lppm−1 and Lptp−1 increase with cell age using d as a proxy and that the former is distinctly higher than the latter. The ratio Lppm−1/Lptp−1 amounts to 30 for 5 μm of d, indicating that the tonoplast is a negligible barrier to osmotic water flow. The ratio decreases with the increase in d and amounts to 5.0 for 11 μm of d, showing that the tonoplast ages faster than the plasma membrane. The physiological meaning of the age dependence of hydraulic resistance of the tonoplast was discussed in terms of the role of the vacuole in the osmoregulation of the cytoplasm.

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Dr. Masami Ueta (Yoshida Biological Laboratory, Kyoto, Japan) and Dr. Akiko Harada (Department of Biology, Osaka Medical College, Osaka, Japan) were helpful in drawing figures.

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MT designed the research, performed the experiments, and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. MK and RW critically reviewed the manuscript. The manuscript was revised by all authors.

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Correspondence to Masashi Tazawa.

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Tazawa, M., Katsuhara, M. & Wayne, R. Age dependence of the hydraulic resistances of the plasma membrane and the tonoplast (vacuolar membrane) in cells of Chara corallina. Protoplasma (2021).

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  • Cell age
  • Cell wall
  • Chara corallina
  • Hydraulic resistance
  • Plasma membrane
  • Tonoplast