Plant stems respond to gravitropic stimulation with a rapid, local and reversible change in cell growth rate (elongation), generally on both the upper and lower sides of the stem. The cellular and biochemical mechanisms for this differential growth are reviewed. Considerable evidence implicates an asymmetry in wall pH in the growth response. The strengths and weaknesses of the wall 'loosening enzyme' concept are reviewed and the possibility of expansin involvement in the bending response of stems is considered. Also discussed is the possibility that wall stiffening processes, e.g. phenolic coupling driven by oxidative bursts or altered orientation of newly deposited cellulose, might mediate the growth responses during gravitropism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science