The Effect of Sonication on Plant Stomatal Movement

  • Suren Jeevaratnam Student
  • Chuwei Lin Helped with the experiment.
  • Sixue Chen PI - helped with experiment
Keywords: Sonication, Stomata, Mesophyll cells, Arabidopsis, Guard cells


The primary goal of this study was to determine the effect of sonication on stomatal movement. A minor goal was to determine the best time interval at which sonication is the most effective at removing mesophyll cells and enriching guard cells. For this study, abaxial leaf peels of Arabidopsis thaliana were sonicated for 1, 3, 5, and 7-minute intervals at a set amplitude to analyze the removal of mesophyll cells. To juxtapose the leaves and to determine guard cell enrichment, microscopic images were taken prior to and after sonication. Furthermore, to establish that the stomata are alive, neutral red staining was used in conjunct with 40x magnification. It was hypothesized that sonication is an effective method for the removal of mesophyll cells and the enrichment of guard cells. The results of this study suggest that sonication is in fact an effective protocol for guard cell enrichment; however, it is not as effective for guard cell purification. This is due to the presence of mesophyll cells and epidermal layers present after sonication. Previous research dealing with sonication is very prevalent; however, research on sonication dealing with the removal of mesophyll cells in Arabidopsis thaliana is not widely studied. Thus, previous information to support this study could not be attained. Results from the first part of the experiment were then extended to determine how sonication affects stomatal movement. It was determined that in the experimental group, the average stomatal aperture decreased over a two-hour period.