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Plant Cell Environ. 1998;21(12):1293-300.

Temporal course of graviperception in intermittently stimulated cress roots.

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Botanishches Institut, Universitat Bonn, Germany.


Gravitropic bending of Lepidium roots caused by intermittent stimulation lasting approximately 1 h was the same for a particular sum of stimulation intervals and was independent of (i) the length of a single stimulation interval (from 1 to 12.2 s) during which the roots were exposed unilaterally and horizontally, and (ii) rest intervals (from 60 to 300 s) during which roots were horizontally rotated at two revolutions per minute on a clinostat. The same effectiveness of equal sums of short stimulations separated by relatively long rest intervals indicates that the signals into which the stimuli are transduced are: (i) additive; (ii) proportional to the duration of a single stimulation; and (iii) stable for at least 5 min. The perception time is shorter than 1 s, the presentation time is approximately 10 s. The effects of intermittent stimulation fit the hypothesis that the gravity-induced movement of statoliths changes asymmetrically the stress in cytoskeletal actin filaments, thereby inducing gravitropic bending.

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