Complex physiological and molecular processes underlying root gravitropism

Complex physiological and molecular processes underlying root gravitropism Gravitropism allows plant organs to guide their growth in relation to the gravity vector. For most roots, this response to gravity allows downward growth into soil where water and nutrients are available for plant growth and development. The primary site for gravity sensing in roots includes the root cap and appears to involve the sedimentation of amyloplasts within the columella cells. This process triggers a signal transduction pathway that promotes both an acidification of the wall around the columella cells, an alkalinization of the columella cytoplasm, and the development of a lateral polarity across the root cap that allows for the establishment of a lateral auxin gradient. This gradient is then transmitted to the elongation zones where it triggers a differential cellular elongation on opposite flanks of the central elongation zone, responsible for part of the gravitropic curvature. Recent findings also suggest the involvement of a secondary site/mechanism of gravity sensing for gravitropism in roots, and the possibility that the early phases of graviresponse, which involve differential elongation on opposite flanks of the distal elongation zone, might be independent of this auxin gradient. This review discusses our current understanding of the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying these various phases of the gravitropic response in roots. Plant Molecular Biology Springer Journals

Complex physiological and molecular processes underlying root gravitropism

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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Plant Sciences; Plant Pathology
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