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Plant Physiol. 2000 Feb;122(2):453-62.

Interaction of root gravitropism and phototropism in Arabidopsis wild-type and starchless mutants.

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Department of Plant Biology, Ohio State University, 1735 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.
OH St U, Columbus


Root gravitropism in wild-type Arabidopsis and in two starchless mutants, pgm1-1 and adg1-1, was evaluated as a function of light position to determine the relative strengths of negative phototropism and of gravitropism and how much phototropism affects gravitropic measurements. Gravitropism was stronger than phototropism in some but not all light positions in wild-type roots grown for an extended period, indicating that the relationship between the two tropisms is more complex than previously reported. Root phototropism significantly influenced the time course of gravitropic curvature and the two measures of sensitivity. Light from above during horizontal exposure overestimated all three parameters for all three genotypes except the wild-type perception time. At the irradiance used (80 micromol m(-2) s(-1)), the shortest periods of illumination found to exaggerate gravitropism were 45 min of continuous illumination and 2-min doses of intermittent illumination. By growing roots in circumlateral light or by gravistimulating in the dark, corrected values were obtained for each gravitropic parameter. Roots of both starchless mutants were determined to be about three times less sensitive than prior estimates. This study demonstrates the importance of accounting for phototropism in the design of root gravitropism experiments in Arabidopsis.

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