Action potential / membrane potential

Plants generate different types of electrical events (signals) in connection to environmental stresses. In order to study the changes in the electrical activity of the cell membrane, membrane potential is one of the approaches used.

It allows the real time monitoring of the cytosolic ion homeostasis, and thus provides answers to some fundamental questions about ionic mechanisms underlying stress tolerance in plant cells.

Cells usually have a negative membrane potential (inside being negative), and changes in the value of the membrane potential can reflex the state of the living cell and organs in general. Significant membrane depolarization is observed in response to various environment stresses such as salinity, chilling, acidity and hypoxia.