Gravity sensing and signal transduction in vascular plant primary roots.

American journal of botany

PubMedID: 23048015

Baldwin KL, Strohm AK, Masson PH. Gravity sensing and signal transduction in vascular plant primary roots. Am J Bot. 2013;100(1):126-42.
During gravitropism, the potential energy of gravity is converted into a biochemical signal. How this transfer occurs remains one of the most exciting mysteries in plant cell biology. New experiments are filling in pieces of the puzzle. In this review, we introduce gravitropism and give an overview of what we know about gravity sensing in roots of vascular plants, with special highlight on recent papers. When plant roots are reoriented sideways, amyloplast resedimentation in the columella cells is a key initial step in gravity sensing. This process somehow leads to cytoplasmic alkalinization of these cells followed by relocalization of auxin efflux carriers (PINs). This changes auxin flow throughout the root, generating a lateral gradient of auxin across the cap that upon transmission to the elongation zone leads to differential cell elongation and gravibending. We will present the evidence for and against the following players having a role in transferring the signal from the amyloplast sedimentation into the auxin signaling cascade: mechanosensitive ion channels, actin, calcium ions, inositol trisphosphate, receptors/ligands, ARG1/ARL2, spermine, and the TOC complex. We also outline auxin transport and signaling during gravitropism.