Measuring the galvanotaxic response of Amoeba proteus to a changing DC electrical field

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Palisano, John
Sealander, Bryce
Merriman, Joseph
Brown, Jim
Hart, Francis X.
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amoeba proteus , electrical field , galvanotaxic response , directional changes
Galvanotaxis is the change in cellular movement created by an electrical field. Different types of motile cells have been shown to exhibit galvanotaxis on a time frame of an hour in previous investigations. Amoeba typically migrate towards the negative pole. In contrast, we have video recorded the directional movement of Amoeba proteus on a time frame of minutes in response to a DC electrical field (dcEF) for which the polarity is occasionally reversed. In addition to observing directional changes, the video recording makes it possible to continuously measure the velocity and acceleration of Amoeba proteus and the cytoplasmic streaming as the polarity and strength of the field change. We have confirmed that even on a time scale of a few minutes the amoeba migrates toward the negative pole in a field of about 300 V/m. We have also observed that the amoeba can respond to changes in the direction of the field within a minute.