|SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR||BIO/04|
Plant electrophysiology includes various experimental techniques for the investigation of plasma membrane and tonoplast ion channels and transporters and the study of the related electrical signals.
The course aims to introduce the student to the most important electrophysiological techniques used for the functional characterization of plant ion channels and transporters, namely membrane potential recordings on plant cells, the double microelectrode voltage-clamp (TECV) technique applied to Xenopus oocytes and the patch-clamp technique with its most used configurations in the plant field. The functional and structural characteristics of the main families of ion channels and primary/secondary active transporters both on plasma and intracellular membranes of plant cells will be presented. The activities will include a period of experimental work in laboratory.
Attendance and active participation in the proposed educational activities (lectures and laboratory activities) and individual study will enable the student to:
- to know the theoretical and experimental aspects of membrane potential recordings in plant cells;
- to know the theoretical and experimental aspects of the heterologous expression of ion channels and transporters in Xenopus oocytes and of the relative technique of the two-microelectrode voltage-clamp (TECV);
- to know the theoretical and experimental aspects of the patch-clamp technique.
Lectures and laboratory activities.
Elements of electrophysiology: fundamental constants, resistance and membrane capacitance. Ions in aqueous solution: electrochemical potential and the Nernst equation. Functional characteristics of plant ion channels and transporters. The membrane potential: hyperpolarization and depolarization. What is the voltage-clamp. The theory of the patch-clamp technique. Main families of plant ion channels and transporters. Laboratory activities: membrane potential recordings in plant cells, the TECV and the patch-clamp technique.
- Sakmann, B. and Neher, E. (1995). Single-channel recording 2nd ed. (Plenum Press - New York and London).
- Hille B (2001) Ion Channels of Excitable Membranes, Third Edition. Oxford University Press
- R. Hedrich, Ion channels in plants, Physiol. Rev. 92 (2012) 1777–1811
ARMANDO CARPANETO (President)
The oral examination will focus on the topics covered during the lectures and on the contents addressed in the laboratory. The student will prepare a short computer presentation of about 15 minutes on recent scientific publications selected by the professor.