Phloem pp 439-447 | Cite as

Measurement of Electropotential Waves in Intact Phloem Sieve Elements Using Microelectrodes

  • Matthias R. ZimmermannEmail author
  • Jens B. Hafke
  • Maria K. Paulmann
  • Alexandra C. U. Furch
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2014)


Electropotential waves (EPW) are involved in plant responses to both abiotic and biotic stresses. Three different types of EPWs have been identified: action potential, variation potential, and system potential, all of which have been indicated to participate in phloem-based communication between plant organs. In this chapter we describe in detail how to measure EPWs in plants, including how to access the phloem, and how to insert microelectrodes. Such experiments can be used, for example, to study the local and systemic signaling in response to diverse stimuli like microbial threat or herbivore attack.

Key words

Electropotential waves Intact plants Membrane potential Microelectrodes Sieve elements Systemic signaling 



We are grateful to Michael Thorpe for proofreading and helpful comments. This work was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant FU969/2-1 to ACUF and MRZ) and the Max Planck Society, Germany (MKP).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias R. Zimmermann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jens B. Hafke
    • 2
  • Maria K. Paulmann
    • 1
    • 3
  • Alexandra C. U. Furch
    • 1
  1. 1.Matthias Schleiden Institute of Genetics, Bioinformatics and Molecular Botany, Faculty of Biological ScienceFriedrich-Schiller-University JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Plant PhysiologyJustus Liebig University GiessenGießenGermany
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryMax-Planck Institute for Chemical EcologyJenaGermany

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