A study on variation in spatial voltage distribution pattern across tissue layers between non-excitable plant and excitable plant

Roy, Shibsankar ; Bhattacharya, Barnini ; Bal, Bijay ; Ghosh, Kuntal


Understanding the mechanism of information processing in plants remains a challenging task even in the era of machine learning and artificial neural networks. Sir J.C. Bose had demonstrated through his experiments that the various modes of stimulation which effectively initiated nervous impulse in animals led to impulse generation in the excitable plant Mimosa pudica as well. In order to localize the tissue responsible for conduction of excitation in the petiole of Mimosa, Bose had constructed a specialized ‘Electric Probe’ (glass tip electrode). From this experiment, Bose found that there were different intensities of transmitted excitation in different tissue layers of the petiole. In this backdrop, an experimental research has been conducted to comparatively study the pattern of spatial voltage distribution across different tissue layers in both, a non-excitable plant Alternanthera philoxeroides (in stem) and an excitable plant Mimosa pudica (in petiole), by following experimental principles similar to that of Sir J. C. Bose. For the present experimental study, the electrical probes (glass tip electrode), similar to the one designed by J.C. Bose and the whole experimental setup has been constructed and developed completely in the laboratory. The results indicated a striking difference in the spatial voltage distribution pattern between the non-excitable and the excitable plant. Since Mimosa is an excitable plant having specialized mechanoreceptor cells, the change in spatial voltage distribution in the different layers of petiole, following excitation (uniform electrical stimuli) of a sub-petiole has been also studied, as an additional segment of the present research. In the present study a notable difference in the intensities of the transmitted excitation was also found upon electrical stimulation of one of the sub-petioles of the excitable plant M. pudica.


Alternanthera philoxeroides; Electrophysiology; Mimosa pudica; Phloem; Spatial electrical property; Transmitted excitation

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