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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01393

Shear-enhanced dispersion of a wound substance as a candidate mechanism for variation potential transmission

  • 1University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
  • 2John Innes Centre (JIC), United Kingdom

A variation potential (VP) is an electrical signal unique to plants that occurs in response to wounding or flaming. The propagation mechanism itself, however, is known not to be electrical. Here we examine the hypothesis that VP transmission occurs via the transport of a chemical agent in the xylem.
We assume the electrical signal is generated locally by the activation of an ion channel at the plasma membrane of cells adjacent to the xylem.
We work on the assumption that the ion channels are triggered when the chemical concentration exceeds a threshold value. We use numerical computations to demonstrate the combined effect of advection and diffusion on chemical transport in a tube flow, and propose shear-enhanced Taylor-Aris dispersion as a candidate mechanism to explain VP rates observed in experiments.

Keywords: variation potential, chemical signal, Signal Propagation, Taylor dispersion, Convection-diffusion

Received: 30 Oct 2018; Accepted: 09 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Blyth and Morris. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Mark Blyth, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom, m.blyth@uea.ac.uk