Arabidopsis root growth movements and their symmetry: progress and problems arising from recent work.

  • Migliaccio F
  • Fortunati A
  • Tassone P
  • 37


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Over the last fifteen years, an increasing number of plant scientists have become interested in the Arabidopsis root growth pattern, that is produced on the surface of an agar plate, inclined from the vertical. In this situation, the roots wave intensely and slant preferentially towards one side, showing torsions in the epidermal cell files alternately right-and left handed. In addition, the pattern switches to the formation of large or strict coils when the plate is set horizontally. After this finding, different hypotheses were advanced attempting to explain the forces that shape these patterns. These basically appear to be gravitropism, circumnutation and negative thigmotropism. With regard to the symmetry, the coils and the slanting in the wild-type are essentially right-handed, but mutants were also reported which show a left-handed symmetry, while some do not show a regular growth pattern at all. This review article discusses the earlier as well as the most recent findings on the topic, and investigates the possibility of describing the different mechanisms shaping the root growth patterns via unifying hypothesis.

Author-supplied keywords

  • agar plate
  • an increasing number of
  • auxin
  • circumnutation
  • gravitropism
  • growth
  • in the arabidopsis root
  • inclined
  • over the last fifteen
  • pattern
  • plant
  • root pattern
  • root waving
  • scientists have become interested
  • symmetry
  • that is produced on
  • the surface of an
  • years

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  • Fernando Migliaccio

  • Alessio Fortunati

  • Paola Tassone

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