Funded by: European Commission  
Calls: Marie Curie European Reintegration Grant FP7
Start date: 2007-02-28  End date: 2009-01-31
Total Budget: EUR 136.375,00  INO share of the total budget: EUR 136.375,00
Scientific manager:    and for INO is: Ciszak Marzena

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other Organization/Institution/Company involved:

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Abstract: Electrically excitable cells are present in many multicellular organisms, especially in brains of animals, but they are present also in lower animals lacking central nervous system as sponges or in animals having excitable epithelia, which can conduct signals (neuroid conduction) in addition to neurons. Conducted electrical events serve for translation of environmental parameters and cues, obtained via sensory systems, into biological information and processes. In plants, most cells are electrically excitable and active, releasing and propagating action potentials (APs), which regulate and control such central physiological processes as photosynthesis and respiration. Moreover, electrical signals are believed to play a central role in intercellular and intracellular communication at all levels of evolution from algae, to bryophytes and higher plants. During the realization of the CONEDAP project (“Collective neuron dynamics in animals and plants”) the main objective concerned the study of the electrical network dynamics in plant cells. A 60-channels multi-electrode array (MEA) has been applied to study spatiotemporal characteristics of the electrical network activity of the root apex. Both, intense spontaneous electrical activities as well as stimulation-elicited bursts of locally propagating action potentials have been observed. Propagation of APs indicated the existence of excitable travelling waves in plants, similar to those observed in animal electrogenic tissues. Obtained data revealed synchronous electric activities of root cells, which emerge within specific root apex region. This dynamic electrochemical activity of root apex cells has been proposed to continuously integrate internal and external signalling for developmental adaptations in a changing environment.

The Scientific Results:
1) Synchronization of an array of chaotic neurons as a time dependent phase transition
2) Detecting electrical network activity in root apex by multielectrode arrays (MEAs)
3) Discrete synchronization states in coupled chaotic oscillators
4) Mechanism of phase transition in locally coupled oscillators
5) Sharp versus smooth synchronization transition of locally coupled oscillators
6) Electrical network activity in plant roots under gravity-changing conditions
7) Incomplete homoclinic scenarios in semiconductor devices with optoelectronic feedback: Generation and synchronization