Plant cells “black out” when eaten by leafworms
Magnified view of a leaf where leafworms have been feeding.
(The green colouring indicates calcium-ion influx.)
“When an Egyptian cotton leafworm eats the leaves of a lima bean plant, the natural voltage at the membranes of the plant’s cells changes in a matter of seconds… The membrane potential drops abruptly — within a short space of time, depolarisation spreads out across the leaf under attack. This “electrical black out” drastically reduces the ability of the plant’s cells to react and protect themselves against getting eaten by the leafworm…
Whether the depolarisation measured in this experiment ultimately benefits the pest, as it appears, and not the plant, still needs to be investigated.”
- I don’t really know what’s going on here — but if something was eating me then I think “blacking out” would be highly desirable!