Shoot phototropism in higher plants: new light through old concepts

Christie, J.M. and Murphy, A.S. (2013) Shoot phototropism in higher plants: new light through old concepts. American Journal of Botany, 100(1), pp. 35-46. (doi: 10.3732/ajb.1200340)

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Light is a key environmental factor that drives many aspects of plant growth and development. Phototropism, the reorientation of growth toward or away from light, represents one of these important adaptive processes. Modern studies of phototropism began with experiments conducted by Charles Darwin demonstrating that light perception at the shoot apex of grass coleoptiles induces differential elongation in the lower epidermal cells. This led to the discovery of the plant growth hormone auxin and the Cholodny–Went hypothesis attributing differential tropic bending to lateral auxin relocalization. In the past two decades, molecular-genetic analyses in the model flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana has identified the principal photoreceptors for phototropism and their mechanism of activation. In addition, several protein families of auxin transporters have been identified. Despite extensive efforts, however, it still remains unclear as to how photoreceptor activation regulates lateral auxin transport to establish phototropic growth. This review aims to summarize major developments from over the last century and how these advances shape our current understanding of higher plant phototropism. Recent progress in phototropism research and the way in which this research is shedding new light on old concepts, including the Cholodny–Went hypothesis, is also highlighted.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Christie, Professor John
Authors: Christie, J.M., and Murphy, A.S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Molecular Biosciences
Journal Name:American Journal of Botany
Published Online:09 October 2012

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