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Dev Biol. 1989 Dec;136(2):405-10.

The responses of pollen to applied electrical fields.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.


The growing pollen tubes of tomato and tobacco were exposed to electrical fields and the effect on the direction of growth was measured. They responded by turning toward the positive electrode (anode) and gave a detectable response in fields as small as 0.1 mV/tube diameter. The sites of germination of tobacco pollen grains were also affected by applied fields; the pollen tubes tended to emerge from the anodal side. This effect was detectable at a field of 0.4 mV/grain diameter.

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