The aim of this paper is to highlight the importance of plant-stress measurement, allowing the quantitative evaluation of plant stress due to plasma-generated gas-phase reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS). It is found that electrolyte leakage from Arabidopsis thaliana leaves, detectable within one hour, tends to reflect gas-phase RONS exposure but does not correlate well with subsequently observed wilting. Ion chromatograph analysis of the leaked electrolyte indicates that selective leakage of potassium ions (K+) accounts for nearly 80% of the measured leaked ions. This selective and rapid K+ leakage due to the RONS exposure stress can be interpreted as part of the plant’s response, and is potentially involved in subsequent plasma-induced phenomena but can hardly be explained by physical damage. Thus, electrolyte leakage as a plant stress response can be a useful RONS stress measure, particularly for plasma-based agricultural applications.
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