Interactions between gravitropism and phototropism in plants

J Plant Growth Regul. 2002 Jun;21(2):89-101. doi: 10.1007/s003440010056. Epub 2002 May 24.


To receive adequate light and nutrients for survival, plants orient stems and stem-like organs toward light and away from the gravity vector and, conversely, orient roots into the soil, away from light toward the direction of gravity. Therefore, both gravity and light can influence the differential growth of plant organs. To add to the complexity of the interactions between gravity and light, each stimulus can enhance or reduce the effectiveness of the other. On earth, the constant presence of gravity makes it difficult to determine whether plant growth and development is influenced by gravity or light alone or the combination of the two stimuli. In the past decade, our understanding of the gravity and light transduction pathways has advanced through the use of mutants in either gravitropic or phototropic responses and the use of innovative techniques that reduce the effects of one stimulus on the other. Thus, both unique and common elements in the transduction pathways of the gravitropic and phototropic responses have been isolated. This article is focused on the interactions between the light- and gravity-transduction pathways and describes methods used to separate the influences of these two environmental stimuli.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis
  • Genes, Plant
  • Gravitation
  • Gravitropism / genetics
  • Gravitropism / physiology*
  • Gravitropism / radiation effects
  • Gravity Sensing / physiology
  • Light
  • Mutation*
  • Phototropism / genetics
  • Phototropism / physiology*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects