Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why plants grow towards the light

Date:
April 16, 2012
Source:
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)
Summary:
Have you ever wondered why stems grow upwards and roots downwards? Why plants always seem to turn towards the light and climbing plants run up the trellis rather than down?

Arabidopsis thaliana flowering.
Credit: © Olivier M. / Fotolia

Have you ever wondered why stems grow upwards and roots downwards? Why plants always seem to turn towards the light and climbing plants run up the trellis rather than down?

Related Articles


The answer is simple: auxin

But maybe not that simple, since plant hormones -- and auxin is a plant hormone -- are regulated by complex combinations of various processes. Elke Barbez, Jürgen Kleine-Vehn and Jirí Friml, connected to VIB and UGent recently identified an important new link in the transport of auxin through the plant, resulting in auxin being stored at specific sites. The results were published by the journal Nature.

Auxin surrenders its secrets

Darwin was already interested in auxin in the 19th century. Only in recent years, however, has the hormone started to relinquish its secrets, thanks to intensive molecular research. Auxin is produced in the young, growing parts of plants and then transported throughout the plant -- to a low-lying stem for example. The stem needs to straighten out as soon as possible to be able to absorb the sun's rays efficiently; therefore more auxin will be delivered to the underside of the stem than to the topside, resulting in the underside growing faster and the stem straightening out. For the same reason, plants in front of windows will always turn to the light. This dynamic regulation of auxin transport allows plants to take optimal advantage of local and changing conditions.

A new means of transport for auxin?

The transport of auxin through the plant plays a vital role. And, from all appearances, it is not a simple matter. The VIB researchers identified an important new link and means of transport for auxin: PILS proteins. PILS proteins are vital for auxin-dependent plant growth and regulate the intracellular storage of the hormone. It is exactly this compartmentalizing of auxin that seems functionally important for the various developmental processes.

Growing crops more efficiently: the right amount of auxin in the right place

Higher auxin levels at the right moment and in the right place result in better growth and greater yields. Better regulation of auxin levels would make plants grow more efficiently. The researchers hope to contribute to the development of more efficient growing processes by continuing to unravel auxin transport processes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elke Barbez, Martin Kubeš, Jakub Rolčík, Chloé Béziat, Aleš Pěnčík, Bangjun Wang, Michel Ruiz Rosquete, Jinsheng Zhu, Petre I. Dobrev, Yuree Lee, Eva Zažímalovŕ, Jan Petrášek, Markus Geisler, Jiří Friml, Jürgen Kleine-Vehn. A novel putative auxin carrier family regulates intracellular auxin homeostasis in plants. Nature, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/nature11001

Cite This Page:

VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Why plants grow towards the light." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416101028.htm>.
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). (2012, April 16). Why plants grow towards the light. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416101028.htm
VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology). "Why plants grow towards the light." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120416101028.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins