Reversible Root Tip Rotation in Arabidopsis Seedlings Induced by Obstacle-Touching Stimulus

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Science  12 Oct 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4978, pp. 274-276
DOI: 10.1126/science.250.4978.274


In soil, downwardly growing plant roots frequently alter their growth direction to escape obstacles that lie in their paths. This response has been analyzed with a simple system that provides a constant obstacle-touching stimulus to root tips of young seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana. On the surface of agar plates, which were set at an angle of 45° to the vertical, the roots exhibit a wavy growth pattern that is caused by periodic reversion of rotation of the root tip. A set of mutants with abnormal wavy growth was used to demonstrate that at least six genes are involved in this stimulus-response interaction.

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