Gravity directs the early polar development in single cells of Ceratopteris richardii Brogn. It acts over a limited period of time during which it irreversibly determines the axis of the spore cell's development. A self-referencing calcium selective electrode was utilized to record the net movement of calcium across the cell membrane at different positions around the periphery of the spore during the period in which gravity orients the polarity of the spore. A movement of calcium into the cell along the bottom and out of the cell along the top was detected. This movement was specific, polarized, and strongest in a direction that opposed the vector of gravity. Treatment with nifedipine, a calcium-channel blocker, diminished the calcium current and caused the cell to lose its responsiveness to the orienting influence of gravity. Results shown suggest that calcium plays a crucial role in the ability of a single cell to respond to gravity and in the subsequent establishment of its polarity. <br/
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