The MIFETM system 
for non-invasive measurement of specific fluxes in solution near living plant or animal tissue

UTas Biophysics Lab
Shabala Lab
MIFE Research Facility
MIFE user group

Membrane Transport & fluxes
MIFE Key Features
MIFE applications

MIFE theory
 ion flux theory
multivalent ion mobility
ionic mobility values
neutral molecule flux
Methodological isues
H+ flux in buffered media

System requirements
system components



Univ of Tas
Eppendorf NP2

Overview of the MIFE system - useful references 

Papers highlighted in red are central to the technique.
A definitive review of the technique and its applications was published in January 2001. Gilliham et al. have powerfully linked MIFE with whole cell patch clamp.

  • Ammann, D. (1986) Ion-selective microelectrodes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York Tokyo
  • Arif I. & Newman I.A. (1993) Proton efflux from oat coleoptile cells and exchange with wall calcium after IAA or fusicoccin treatment. Planta. 189, 377-383.
  • Arif I., Newman I.A. & Keenlyside N. (1995) Proton flux measurement from tissues in buffered solution. Plant, Cell & Environment. 18, 1319-1324.
  • Gilliham G, Sullivan W, Tester M, Tyerman S  (2006) Simultaneuos flux and current measurements from single plant protoplasts reveals a strong link between K+ fluxes and current, but no link between Ca2+ fluxes and current. The Plant Journal 46, 134-144.   ABSTRACT
  • Henriksen G.H., Bloom A.J. & Spanswick R.M. (1990) Measurement of net fluxes of ammonium and nitrate at the surface of barley roots using ion-selective microelectrodes. Plant Physiology 93, 271-280.
  • Henriksen G.H., Raman D.R., Walker L.P. & Spanswick R.M. (1992) Measurement of net fluxes of ammonium and nitrate at the surface of barley roots using ion-selective microelectrodes. II. Patterns of uptake along the root axis and evaluation of the microelectrode flux estimation technique. Plant Physiology 99, 734-747.
  • Huang J.W., Grunes D.L. & Kochian L. (1992) Aluminium effects on the kinetics of calcium uptake into cells of the wheat root apex. Quantification of calcium fluxes using a calcium-selective vibrating microelectrode. Planta 188, 414-421.
  • Hush J.M., Newman I.A. & Overall R.L. (1992) Utilizition of the vibrating probe and ion-selective microelectrode techniques to investigate electrophysiological responses to wounding in pea roots. Journal of Experimental Botany 43, 1251-1257.
  • Hush J M, Overall R L & Newman I A (1991) A calcium influx precedes organogenesis in Graptopetalum. Plant Cell & Environment 14, 657-665.
  • Kochian, L V, Shaff J E, Kuhtreiber W M, Jaffe L F & Lucas W J (1992) Use of an extracellular, ion-selective microelectrode system for the quantification of K+, H+, and Ca2+ fluxes in maize roots and maize suspension cells. Planta 188, 601-610. 
  • Kuhtreiber W.M. and Jaffe L.F. (1990) Detection of extracellular calcium gradients with a calcium- specific vibrating electrode. J Cell Biol 110, 1565-1573.
  • Lucas W.J. & Kochian L.V. (1986) Ion transport processes in corn roots: an appr oach utilising microelectrode techniques. In Advanced Agricultural Instrumentation. Design and Use. (ed. W.G. Gensler). pp. 402-425. Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht.
  • Newman I.A. (2001) Ion transport in roots: measurement of fluxes using ion-selective microelectrodes to characterize transporter function. Plant, Cell & Environment 24, 1-14. REVIEW ABSTRACT.
  • Newman I.A., Kochian L.V., Grusak M.A. & Lucas W.J. (1987) Fluxes of H+ and K+ in corn roots. Characterization and stoichiometries using ion selective microelectrodes. Plant Physiology 84, 1177-1184.
  • Pierson ES. Smith PJS. Shipley AM. Jaffe LF. Cresti M. Hepler PK. (1993) Ca2+ fluxes around pollen grains and pollen tubes of lily - normal development and effects of thermal shock, BAPTA-type buffer microinjection and depletion of boric acid from the medium. Biological Bulletin. 185(2), 302-303.
  • Ryan P.R., Newman I.A. & Arif I. (1992) Rapid calcium exchange for protons and potassium in cell walls of Chara. Plant Cell and Environment 15, 675-683.
  • Ryan P.R., Newman I.A. & Shields B. (1990) Ion fluxes in corn roots measured by microelectrodes with ion-specific liquid membranes. Journal of Membrane Science 53, 59-69.
  • Shabala S.N., Newman I.A. & Morris J. (1997) Oscillations in H+ and Ca2+ ion fluxes around the elongation region of corn roots and effects of external pH. Plant Physiology 113, 111-118.
  • Shabala S.N., Newman I.A. (1997) Proton and calcium flux oscillations in the elongation region correlate with root nutation. Physiologia Plantarum 100(4), 917-926.
  • Shabala SN & Newman IA (1997) H+ flux kinetics around plant roots after short-term exposure to low temperature: identifying critical temperatures for plant chilling tolerance. Plant Cell & Environment 20, 1401-1410.
  • Shabala SN, Newman IA, Whittington J & Juswono UP (1998) Protoplast ion fluxes: their measurements and variation with time, position and osmoticum. Planta 204, 146-152.
  • Shabala SN & Newman IA (1998) Osmotic sensitivity of Ca2+ and H+ transporters in corn roots: Effect on fluxes and their oscillations in the elongating region. The Journal of Membrane Biology 161, 45-54.
  • Smith J.R. (1993) Can membrane transport parameters that vary with time be derived from electrochemical measurements in an external electrolyte? Journal of the Chemical Society- Faraday Transactions. 89(15), 2783-2789.
  • Walker D.J., Smith S.J. and Miller A.J. (1995) Simultaneous measurement of intracellular pH and K+ or NO3- in barley root cells using triple-barrelled, ion-selective microelectrodes. Plant Physiology 108,743-751.


Maintained by Ian Newman. Date .   University of Tasmania.