Rapid, bilateral changes in growth rate and curvature during gravitropism of cucumber hypocotyls: implications for mechanism of growth control

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Abstract

Abstract. The growth response of etiolated cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) hypocotyls to gravitropic stimulation was examined by means of time‐lapse photography and high‐resolution analysis of surface expansion and curvature. In comparison with video analysis, the technique described here has five‐ to 20‐fold better resolution; moreover, the mathematical fitting method (cubic splines) allows direct estimation of local and integrated curvature. After switching seedlings from a vertical to horizontal position, both upper and lower surfaces of the stem reacted after a lag of about 11 min with a two‐ to three‐fold increase in surface expansion rate on the lower side and a cessation of expansion, or slight compression, on the upper surface. This growth asymmetry was initiated simultancously along the length of the hypocotyl, on both upper and lower surfaces, and did not migrate basipetally from the apex. Later stages in the gravitropic response involved a complex reversal of the growth asymmetry, with the net result being a basipetal migration of the curved region. This secondary growth reversal may reflect oscillatory and or self‐regulatory behaviour of growing cells. With some qualifications, the kinetics and pattern of growth response are consistent with a mechanism involving hormone redistribution, although they do not prove such a mechanism. The growth kinetics require a growth mechanism which can be stimulated by two‐to three‐fold or completely inhibited within a few minutes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalPlant, Cell & Environment
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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