Measurement of Electropotential Waves in Intact Sieve Elements Using Aphids as Bioelectrodes
Electropotential waves (EPWs) are thought to transmit sudden and profound physiological changes between plant organs. The recording of EPWs can be performed via extracellular or intracellular probes. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. Since the phloem is responsible for long distance transport of the most forms of EPWs, the direct measurement in sieve elements is preferable. The conductance using glass microelectrodes inserted into free lying sieve elements is described in Chapter 34. In this chapter the measurement of EPWs by using aphids as bioelectrodes is described in detail.
The electrical penetration graph technique (EPG) takes advantage of the flexible mouthparts (stylet) of aphids, which specifically penetrate into sieve elements. The use of aphids as bioelectrodes enables multiple electrode recordings and long-distance observations of EPWs. Importantly, this method allows for noninvasive, intracellular measurements.
Key wordsAphid Bioelectrode EPW EPG Intact plants Membrane potential Sieve elements Phloem signaling
This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant FU969/2-1 to ACUF and MRZ).
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