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Int J Plant Sci. 1999;160(3):521-7.

Gravitropism of inflorescence stems in starch-deficient mutants of Arabidopsis.

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Department of Botany, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA.
Miami U, Oxford, OH


Previous studies have assayed the gravitropic response of roots and hypocotyls of wild type Arabidopsis thaliana, two reduced-starch strains, and a starchless strain. Because there have been few reports on inflorescence gravitropism, in this article, we use microscopic analyses and time-course studies of these mutants and their wild type to study gravitropism in these stems. Sedimentation of plastids was observed in endodermal cells of the wild type and reduced-starch mutants but not in the starchless mutant. In all of these strains, the short inflorescence stems (1.0-2.9 cm) were less responsive to the gravistimulus compared with the long stems (3.0-6.0 cm). In both long and short inflorescence stems, the wild type initially had the greatest response; the starchless mutant had the least response; and the reduced starch mutants exhibited an intermediate response. Furthermore, growth rates among all four strains were approximately equal. At about 6 h after reorientation, inflorescences of all strains returned to a position parallel to the gravity vector. Thus, in inflorescence stems, sedimentation of plastids may act as an accelerator but is not required to elicit a gravitropic response. Furthermore, the site of perception appears to be diffuse throughout the inflorescence stem. These results are consistent with both a plastid-based statolith model and the protoplast pressure hypothesis, and it is possible that multiple systems for gravity perception occur in plant cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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