Document Detail

Ball tonometry: a rapid, nondestructive method for measuring cell turgor pressure in thin-walled plant cells.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11010995     Owner:  NASA     Status:  MEDLINE    
In this article we describe a new method for the determination of turgor pressures in living plant cells. Based on the treatment of growing plant cells as thin-walled pressure vessels, we find that pressures can be accurately determined by observing and measuring the area of the contact patch formed when a spherical glass probe is lowered onto the cell surface with a known force. Within the limits we have described, we can show that the load (determined by precalibration of the device) divided by the projected area of the contact patch (determined by video microscopy) provides a direct, rapid, and accurate measure of the internal turgor pressure of the cell. We demonstrate, by parallel measurements with the pressure probe, that our method yields pressure data that are consistent with those from the pressure probe. Also, by incubating target tissues in stepped concentrations of mannitol to incrementally reduce the turgor pressure, we show that the pressures measured by tonometry accurately reflect the predicted changes from the osmotic potential of the bathing medium. The advantages of this new method over the pressure probe are considerable, however, in that we can move rapidly from cell to cell, taking measurements every 20 s. In addition, the nondestructive nature of the method means that we can return to the same cell repeatedly for periodic pressure measurements. The limitations of the method lie in the fact that it is suitable only for superficial cells that are directly accessible to the probe and to cells that are relatively thin walled and not heavily decorated with surface features. It is also not suitable for measuring pressures in flaccid cells.
P M Lintilhac; C Wei; J J Tanguay; J O Outwater
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of plant growth regulation     Volume:  19     ISSN:  0721-7595     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Plant Growth Regul.     Publication Date:  2000 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-11-05     Completed Date:  2000-11-05     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9880968     Medline TA:  J Plant Growth Regul     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  90-7     Citation Subset:  S    
Department of Botany and Agricultural Biochemistry, The University of Vermont, Burlington 05405, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cell Physiological Phenomena
Cell Wall / physiology
Equipment Design
Evaluation Studies as Topic
Fabaceae / cytology*
Hypocotyl / cytology
Manometry / instrumentation*,  methods
Onions / cytology*
Osmotic Pressure
Plant Epidermis / cytology*
Plants, Medicinal*
P M Lintilhac / U VT, Burlington

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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