Electric current precedes emergence of a lateral root in higher plants

Shingo Hamada, Shu Ezaki, Kenshi Hayashi, Kiyoshi Toko, Kaoru Yamafuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Stable electrochemical patterns appear spontaneously around roots of higher plants and are closely related to growth. An electric potential pattern accompanied by lateral root emergence was measured along the surface of the primary root of adzuki bean (Phaseolus angularis) over 21 h using a microelectrode manipulated by a newly developed apparatus. The electric potential became lower at the point where a lateral root emerged. This change preceded the emergence of the lateral root by about 10 h. A theory is presented for calculating two-dimensional patterns of electric potential and electric current density around the primary root (and a lateral root) using only data on the one-dimensional electric potential measured near the surface of the primary root. The development of the lateral root inside the primary root is associated with the influx of electric current of about 0.7 μA · cm-2 at the surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-619
Number of pages6
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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