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Phototropic Response
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Summary
Growth in plants reflects the way in which they interact with the environment. Most plants have roots that grow down, and shoots that grow up. But what controls this response? Is it a phototropic response – growth in response to light? Or a geotropic response – growth in response to gravity.
It is probable that these growth responses (geotropic, phototropic) are due in some part to the auxin (plant hormone) indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). IAA at the tip of a plant promotes the transport of IAA molecules to the shaded part of the stem, which produces a curvature that orientates the plant towards the light. A gravity sensing mechanism in the shoot tip triggers a similar migration of IAA molecules, which orientates the shoot from a horizontal position to a vertical one.
Keywords: phototropic response, auxins, IAA, plants and gravity, direction of growth, plants and light, positively geotropic, negatively geotropic, apical dominance
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