Nyctinastic movement in legumes: Developmental mechanisms, factors and biological significance

Plant Cell Environ. 2023 Nov;46(11):3206-3217. doi: 10.1111/pce.14699. Epub 2023 Aug 23.


In legumes, a common phenomenon known as nyctinastic movement is observed. This movement involves the horizontal expansion of leaves during the day and relative vertical closure at night. Nyctinastic movement is driven by the pulvinus, which consists of flexor and extensor motor cells. The turgor pressure difference between these two cell types generates a driving force for the bending and deformation of the pulvinus. This review focuses on the developmental mechanisms of the pulvinus, the factors affecting nyctinastic movement, and the biological significance of this phenomenon in legumes, thus providing a reference for further research on nyctinastic movement.

Keywords: leaf movement; legume; nyctinasty; pulvinus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Fabaceae*
  • Movement
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Pulvinus* / metabolism