Root gravitropism: a complex response to a simple stimulus?

Trends Plant Sci. 1999 Oct;4(10):407-12. doi: 10.1016/s1360-1385(99)01472-7.


Roots avoid depleting their immediate environment of essential nutrients by continuous growth. Root growth is directed by environmental cues, including gravity. Gravity sensing occurs mainly in the columella cells of the root cap. Upon reorientation within the gravity field, the root-cap amyloplasts sediment, generating a physiological signal that promotes the development of a curvature at the root elongation zones. Recent molecular genetic studies in Arabidopsis have allowed the identification of genes that play important roles in root gravitropism. Among them, the ARG1 gene encodes a DnaJ-like protein involved in gravity signal transduction, whereas the AUX1 and AGR1 genes encode proteins involved in polar auxin transport. These studies have important implications for understanding the intra- and inter-cellular signaling processes that underlie root gravitropism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Gravitropism / genetics*
  • Gravitropism / physiology*
  • Gravity Sensing / physiology
  • HSP40 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Indoleacetic Acids / physiology
  • Plant Proteins
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / growth & development*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plastids / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • AUX1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • HSP40 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • PIN2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Plant Proteins