Microsensors in plant biology: in vivo visualization of inorganic analytes with high spatial and/or temporal resolution

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This Expert View provides an update on the recent development of new microsensors, and briefly summarizes some novel applications of existing microsensors, in plant biology research. Two major topics are covered, i) sensors for gaseous analytes (O2, CO2, H2S) and ii) those for measuring concentrations and fluxes of ions (macro- and micronutrients and environmental pollutants such as heavy metals). We show that application of such microsensors may significantly advance understanding of mechanisms of plant-environmental interaction and regulation of plant developmental and adaptive responses under adverse environmental conditions via non-destructive visualization of key analytes with high spatial and/or temporal resolution. Examples included cover a broad range of environmental situations including hypoxia, salinity, and heavy metal toxicity. We highlight the power of combining microsensor technology with other advanced biophysical (patch-clamp; voltage-clamp; single-cell pressure-probe), imaging (MRI; fluorescent dyes) and genetic techniques and approaches. We conclude that future progress in the field may be achieved by applying existing microsensors for important signalling molecules such as NO and H2O2, by improving selectivity of existing microsensors for some key analytes (e.g., Na, Mg and Zn) and by developing new microsensors for P.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)3941-3954
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 239569173