Phytochrome-Mediated Bioelectric Potentials in Mung Bean Seedlings

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Science  29 Nov 1968:
Vol. 162, Issue 3857, pp. 1016-1017
DOI: 10.1126/science.162.3857.1016


Excised root tips from dark-grown mung bean seedlings (Phaseolus aureus) that adhere to a negatively charged glass surface when irradiated with red light and release when irradiated by far-red light develop a positive bioelectric potential (about 1.0 millivolt) at the tip in red light and a negative bioelectric potential in far-red light. The sign of the bioelectric potential was repeatedly photo-reversible, and the adhesion and release kinetics were similar to those of the development of the bioelectric potentials. Photoconversion of the phytochrome holochrome perhaps changes permeability characteristics of the cell membrane, resulting in an induced localized electrochemical gradient manifested as a bioelectric potential. This supports the view that phytochrome in situ is membrane bound.

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