Pavement cells distinguish touch from letting go

Alexander H. Howell, Carsten Völkner, Patrick McGreevy, Kaare H. Jensen, Rainer Waadt, Simon Gilroy, Hans Henning Kunz, Winfried S. Peters, Michael Knoblauch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A micro-cantilever technique applied to individual leaf epidermis cells of intact Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana tabacum synthesizing genetically encoded calcium indicators (R-GECO1 and GCaMP3) revealed that compressive forces induced local calcium peaks that preceded delayed, slowly moving calcium waves. Releasing the force evoked significantly faster calcium waves. Slow waves were also triggered by increased turgor and fast waves by turgor drops in pressure probe tests. The distinct characteristics of the wave types suggest different underlying mechanisms and an ability of plants to distinguish touch from letting go.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Plants
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)877-882
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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