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Plants generate different types of extracellular electrical events in response to environmental stress. In higher plants, action potentials may be the information carriers in inter-cellular and intracellular communication in response to environmental changes. A potential pathway for the transmission of this electrical signal might be the phloem sieve-tube system, since it represents a continuum of plasma membranes. A phloem is an electrical conductor of bio-electrochemical impulses over long distances. Phloem consists of two types of conducting cells: the characteristic type known as sieve-tube elements and another type called companion cells. Sieve-tube elements are elongated cells that have end walls perforated by numerous minute pores through which dissolved materials can pass. Such sieve-tube elements are connected in vertical series, known as sieve tubes. Although their nuclei disintegrate before the element begins the conductive function, sieve-tube elements are alive at maturity. Companion cells, which are smaller, have nuclei at maturity and are alive. They are adjacent to the sieve-tube elements, and are believed to control the process of conduction in the sieve tubes. This sieve-tube apparatus, representing a continuum of plasma membranes, is a potential pathway for electrical pulses to travel.
Electrical potentials have been measured at the tissue and whole plant level. At the cellular level, electrical potentials exist across membranes, and thus between cellular and specific compartments. Electrolytic species such as potassium, calcium, hydrogen, and chloride ions are actively involved in the establishment and modulation of electrical potentials.
A giant fungus of the species Armillaria ostoyae in the Malheur National Forest in Oregon was found to span 8.9 km² (2,200 acres), which would make it the largest organism by area.
This organism is estimated to be 2,400 years old