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Journal Article

Studies on the Sensitivity of Mimosa pudica II. The Effect of Animal Anesthetics and Certain Other Compounds Upon Seismonic Sensitivity

Raymond H. Wallace
American Journal of Botany
Vol. 18, No. 3 (Mar., 1931), pp. 215-235
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2435828
Page Count: 22

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Topics: Petioles, Plants, Vapors, Ethers, Alcohols, Carbon, Pulvini, Alkynes, Nitrous oxide, Leaves
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Studies on the Sensitivity of Mimosa pudica II. The Effect of Animal Anesthetics and Certain Other Compounds Upon Seismonic Sensitivity
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Abstract

4. Very careful quantitative experiments made from May 1st to September 1st have shown clearly that of the common animal anesthetics ether is the only one that actually suspended the seismonic sensitivity of Mimosa pudica with subsequent complete recovery. 5. Concentrations of ether vapor from 13 to 25 percent (to volume of air) prevented the movement of leaflets and petioles in from 10 to 45 minutes after exposure. 6. The leaflets regained their sensitivity within a few minutes after removal from the ether vapor, but a period of two or more hours was required for the primary petioles to become normal. 7. Chloroform in concentrations of 2.5 percent or greater was lethal and lower concentrations caused injury after long exposures. A concentration of 3 percent chloroform reduced the angle of movement of the primary petiole less than 40 percent. 8. Chloroform vapor of a wide range of concentrations induced a strong chemonastic response in the leaflets and petioles of Mimosa. 9. Carbon tetrachlorid induced a reaction very similar to that of chloroform. The physiologically significant range of concentration was similar to that of chloroform. 10. Mimosa plants retained their sensitivity from 1 to 4 hours in very high (approximately 100 percent) concentrations of nitrous oxid and ethylene. 11. Concentrations of approximately 100 percent acetylene insensitized the plants, while 98 percent made them only partially insensitive, and 95 percent seemed to have little or no effect. 12. Repeated anesthetization with ether, or repeated exposures to nitrous oxid, ethylene, and acetylene, had no harmful effects on the plants. 13. A 10 percent concentration of carbon disulphid completely insensitized the plants in ten minutes. Longer exposures caused serious injury or death, so carbon disulphid can scarcely be considered as an anesthetic. 14. Methyl and ethyl alcohol seem to have only a slight effect upon sensitivity, the former decreasing it slightly, the latter increasing it slightly. 15. The different compounds tested affected the position of the petiole in various ways. Some caused an elevation, some a depression, and some seemed to be without effect one way or the other.

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