A CHARACTERISTIC of plant cells is that they have adjoining phases of different physico-chemical properties. These are the cell wall, the cytoplasm and the vacuole. Unequal distributions of ionic activities between these phases are expected, as are electrical potential differences. Investigations of the ion-exchange processes in algal cells of the Characeae1, and analyses of the cytoplasmic and vacuolar composition of centrifuged cells2, confirm the existence of separate intracellular phases. Although an electrical potential difference between the cell vacuole and the medium bathing the cell has long been established, confirmation of potential steps between the remaining phases of plant cells was only found later.
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VOROBIEV, L. Potassium Ion Activity in the Cytoplasm and the Vacuole of Cells of Chara and Griffithsia. Nature 216, 1325–1327 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/2161325a0
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