Chara internodal cells
Nitella internodal cells
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Velocities of cytoplasmic streaming were measured in internodal cells ofNitella flexilis L. andChara corallina Klein ex Willd. by laser-Doppler-velocimetry to investigate the possibility of non-statolith-based perception of gravity. This was recently proposed, based on a report of gravity-dependent polarity of cytoplasmic streaming. Our measurements revealed large spatial and temporal variation in streaming velocity within a cell, independent of the position of the cell with respect to the direction of gravity. In 58% of the horizontally positioned cells the velocities of acropetal and basipetal streaming, measured at opposite locations in the cell, differed significantly. In 45% of these, basipetal streaming was faster than acropetal streaming. In 60% of the vertically positioned cells however the difference was significant, downward streaming was faster in only 61% of these. When cell positions were changed from vertical to horizontal and vice versa the cells reacted variably. A significant difference between velocities in one direction, before and after the change, was observed in approx. 70% of the measurements, but the velocity was faster in the downward direction, as the second position, in only 70% of the significantly different. The ratio of basipetal to acropetal streaming velocities at opposite locations of a cell was quite variable within groups of cells with a particular orientation (horizontal, normal vertical, inverted vertical). On average, however, the ratio was close to 1.00 in the horizontal position and approx. 1.03 in the normal vertical position (basipetal streaming directed downwards), which indicates a small direct effect of gravity on streaming velocity. Individual cells, however, showed an increased, as well as a decreased, ratio when moved from the horizontal to the vertical position. No discernible effect of media (either Ca2 +-buffered medium or 1.2% agar in distilled water) on the streaming velocities was observed. The above mentioned phenomenon of graviperception is not supported by our data.
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