Endocytosis against high turgor: intact guard cells of Vicia faba constitutively endocytose fluorescently labelled plasma membrane and GFP-tagged K-channel KAT1

Plant J. 2004 Jul;39(2):182-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2004.02119.x.


The relevance of endocytosis in plants against high turgor pressure has frequently been questioned on the basis of energetic considerations. Here, we examine the dynamics of the plasma membrane (PM) in turgid guard cells of Vicia faba by monitoring with confocal microscopy the fate of fluorescent styryl dyes (FM1-43, FM2-10 and FM4-64). As a second marker, we also observe the retrieval of a fluorescent chimaera of the K(+)-inward rectifying channel from Arabidopsis thaliana and the green fluorescent protein (KAT1::GFP). Analysis of cytoplasmic structures, which became labelled by the different styryl dyes, revealed that only FM4-64, the most hydrophobic dye, was a reliable marker of endocytosis, whereas the two other styryl dyes resulted also in an unspecific labelling of different cytoplasmic structures including mitochondria. Over some minutes of incubation in continuous presence of these dyes, endocytic vesicles in the cortical cytoplasm beneath the PM were fluorescently labelled. The identification is based on the observation that the size distribution of these structures is very similar to that of endocytic vesicles obtained from patch-clamp capacitance recordings. Also, these structures are frequently co-labelled with KAT1::GFP. Taken together, the data show that turgid guard cells undergo vigorous constitutive endocytosis and retrieve membrane including the K(+)-channel KAT1 from the PM via endocytic vesicles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Endocytosis*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / physiology
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Mitochondria / physiology
  • Plant Proteins
  • Potassium / metabolism
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism
  • Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying*
  • Transport Vesicles / physiology
  • Vicia faba / cytology*
  • Vicia faba / physiology


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • KAT1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Potassium