Memristors in the venus flytrap

Alexander G. Volkov, Victoria Forde-Tuckett, Jada Reedus, Colee M. Mitchell, Maya I. Volkova, Vladislav S. Markin, Leon Chua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A memristor is a nonlinear element because its current-voltage characteristic is similar to that of a Lissajous pattern for nonlinear systems. We investigated the possible presence of memristors in the electrical circuitry of the Venus flytrap's upper and lower leaves. The electrostimulation of this plant by bipolar sinusoidal or triangle periodic waves induces electrical responses in the upper and lower leaves of the Venus flytrap with fingerprints of memristors. The analysis was based on cyclic voltammetric characteristics where the memristor, a resistor with memory, should manifest itself. Tetraethylammonium chloride, an inhibitor of voltage gated K+ channels, or NPPB, a blocker of voltage gated Cl-and K+ channels, transform a memristor to a resistor in plant tissue. Uncouplers carbonylcyanide-3-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP) and carbonylcyanide-4-trifluoromethoxy-phenyl hydrazone (FCCP) decrease the amplitude of electrical responses at low and high frequencies of bipolar periodic electrostimulating waves. Our results demonstrate that voltage gated K+ channels in the Venus flytrap have properties of memristors of type 1 and type 2. The discovery of memristors in plants creates a new direction in the modeling and understanding of electrical phenomena in plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29204
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 2014


  • Electrophysiology
  • Ion channels
  • Memristor
  • Signal transduction
  • Venus flytrap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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