Measuring the osmotic water permeability coefficient (pf) of spherical cells: Isolated plant protoplasts as an example

Arava Shatil-Cohen*, Hadas Sibony, Xavier Draye, FrançOis Chaumont, Nava Moran, Menachem Moshelion

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Studying AQP regulation mechanisms is crucial for the understanding of water relations at both the cellular and the whole plant levels. Presented here is a simple and very efficient method for the determination of the osmotic water permeability coefficient (Pf) in plant protoplasts, applicable in principle also to other spherical cells such as frog oocytes The first step of the assay is the isolation of protoplasts from the plant tissue of interest by enzymatic digestion into a chamber with an appropriate isotonic solution The second step consists of an osmotic challenge assay: protoplasts immobilized on the bottom of the chamber are submitted to a constant perfusion starting with an isotonic solution and followed by a hypotonic solution. The cell swelling is video recorded. In the third step, the images are processed offline to yield volume changes, and the time course of the volume changes is correlated with the time course of the change in osmolarity of the chamber perfusion medium, using a curve fitting procedure written in Matlab (the ‘PfFit’), to yield Pf.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number92
StatePublished - 8 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

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  • Aquaporins
  • Curve fitting
  • Issue 92
  • Non-instantaneous osmolarity change
  • Osmotic water permeability coefficient
  • Plant Biology
  • Protoplasts
  • Volume change time course


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