Studying molecular changes during gravity perception and response in a single cell

Methods Mol Biol. 2015:1309:199-207. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2697-8_15.


Early studies revealed a highly predictable pattern of gravity-directed growth and development in Ceratopteris richardii spores. This makes the spores a valuable model system for the study of how a single cell senses and responds to the force of gravity. Gravity regulates both the direction and magnitude of a trans-cell calcium current in germinating spores, and the orientation of this current predicts the polarization of spore development. Molecular techniques have been developed to evaluate the transcriptomic and proteomic profiles of spores before and after gravity establishes the polarity of their development. Here we describe these techniques, along with protocols for sterilizing the spores, sowing them in a solid or liquid growth media, and evaluating germination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Polarity / genetics
  • Gravitation
  • Gravity Sensing
  • Proteomics*
  • Pteridaceae / genetics
  • Pteridaceae / growth & development*
  • Single-Cell Analysis / methods*
  • Spores / genetics*
  • Spores / growth & development


  • Calcium