The Action Potential in Cells of Chara


IN the resting state of giant internodal cells of the fresh water algæ, Chara and Nitella, an electric potential difference exists between the interior of the cells and an external medium. The value of this potential difference appears to be determined by the permeability of the plasmalemma (outer cytoplasmic membrane) to potassium ions and, to a lesser extent, to sodium ions1,2. The resting resistance of this membrane is also related to the permeability to these ions and to their external concentrations2.

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  1. 1

    Walker, N. A., Austral. J. Biol. Sci., 13 (4), 468 (1960).

  2. 2

    Hope, A. B., and Walker, N. A., Austral. J. Biol. Sci., 14 (1) (in the press).

  3. 3

    Findlay, G. P., Austral. J. Biol. Sci., 12 (4), 412 (1959).

  4. 4

    Osterhout, W. J. V., in Electrochemistry in Biology and Medicine, edit. by Schedlovsky (Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, 1955).

  5. 5

    Gaffey, C. T., and Mullins, L. J., J. Physiol., 144, 505 (1958).

  6. 6

    Dainty, J., and Hope, A. B., Austral. J. Biol. Sci., 12 (4), 395 (1959).

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HOPE, A. The Action Potential in Cells of Chara. Nature 191, 811–812 (1961).

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