Impedance Measures for Detecting Electrical Responses during Acute Injury and Exposure of Compounds to Roots of Plants

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1 Scopus citations


Electrical activity is widely used for assessing a plant’s response to an injury or environmental stimulus. Commonly, a differential electrode recording between silver wire leads with the reference wire connected to the soil, or a part of the plant, is used. One method uses KCl-filled glass electrodes placed into the plant, similar to recording membrane/cell potentials in animal tissues. This method is more susceptible to artifacts of equipment noise and photoelectric effects than an impedance measure. An impedance measure using stainless steel wires is not as susceptible to electri-cally induced noises. Impedance measurements are able to detect injury in plants as well as exposure of the roots to environmental compounds (glutamate). The impedance measures were performed in 5 different plants (tomato, eggplant, pepper, liverwort, and Coleus scutellarioides), and responses to mechanical movement of the plant, as well as injury, were recorded. Monitoring electrical activity in a plant that arises in a distant plant was also demonstrated using the impedance method. The purpose of this report is to illustrate the ease in using impedance measures for monitoring electrical signals from individual plants or aggregates of plants for potentially scaling for high throughput and monitoring controlled culturing and outdoor field environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
JournalMethods and Protocols
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • comparison of techniques
  • electrophysiology
  • impedance
  • roots
  • suprafusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)


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