Electrophysiology of pumpkin seeds: Memristors in vivo

Alexander G. Volkov, Eunice K. Nyasani, Clayton Tuckett, Esther A. Greeman, Vladislav S. Markin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Leon Chua, the discoverer of a memristor, theoretically predicted that voltage gated ion channels can be memristors. We recently found memristors in different plants such as the Venus flytrap, Mimosa pudica, Aloe vera, apple fruits, and in potato tubers. There are no publications in literature about the existence of memristors in seeds. The goal of this work was to discover if pumpkin seeds might have memristors. We selected Cucurbita pepo L., cv. Cinderella, Cucurbita maxima L. cv Warty Goblin, and Cucurbita maxima L., cv. Jarrahdale seeds for this analysis. In these seeds, we foundthe presence of resistors with memory. The analysis was based on cyclic voltammetry where a memristor should manifest itself as a nonlinear two-terminal electrical element, which exhibits a pinched hysteresis loop on a current-voltage plane for any bipolar cyclic voltage input signal. Dry dormant pumpkin seeds have very high electrical resistance without memristive properties. The electrostimulation by bipolar sinusoidal or triangular periodic waves induces electrical responses in imbibed pumpkin seeds with fingerprints of memristors. Tetraethylammonium chloride, an inhibitor of voltage gated K+ channels, transforms a memristor to a resistor in pumpkin seeds. NPPB (5-Nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino)benzoic acid) inhibits thememristive properties of imbibed pumpkin seeds. The discovery of memristors in pumpkin seeds creates a new direction in the understanding of electrophysiological phenomena in seeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1151600
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016


  • Cucurbita maxima L
  • Cucurbita maxima L
  • Cucurbita pepo L
  • Cv cinderella
  • Cv warty goblin
  • Cv. jarrahdale
  • Memristor
  • Pumpkin seed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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