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Cartesian-diver microrespirometry: a technique for the accurate measurement of respiratory flux in plant cells

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-16, 20:49 authored by Owen, JH, Laybourn-Parry, J
Abstract. A Cartesian‐diver microrespirometer system is described which can be used to measure respiratory fluxes of oxygen accurately for cells of higher plants in a liquid phase. This microrespirometry technique has been adapted from protozoological and microfaunal studies to plant physiology. The Cartesian‐diver has considerable scope for investigation of oxygen flux in plant cells and has several advantages compared to the oxygen electrode in terms of sensitivity to changing oxygen levels in respiring material. Because the volumes of liquid are small in the Cartesian‐divers, diffusional distances arc measured in micrometres and there is no need for stirring to overcome diffusional problems, thus minimizing the risk of mechanical damage to the experimental material. In addition, only very small quantities of experimental material are required for the Cartesian‐diver which is invaluable where only limited amounts of tissue or numbers of cells can be obtained. Examples of respiratory oxygen consumption by protoplasts from intercalary meristematic regions of light‐grown barley (Hordeum vulgare L.c.v. Patty) seedlings, in response to abscisic and gibberellic acids, are presented. The advantages and disadvantages of Cartesian‐diver microrespirometry compared to oxygen electrodes are also discussed. Copyright © 1989, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved


Publication title

Plant, Cell and Environment








Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences

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    University Of Tasmania