Plants are sessile in nature, and need to detect and respond to many environmental cues in order to regulate their growth and orientation. Indeed, plants sense numerous environmental cues and respond via appropriate tropisms, and it is widely accepted that auxin plays an important role in these responses. Recent analyses using Arabidopsis have emphasized the importance of polar auxin transport and differential auxin responses to gravitropism. Even so, the involvement of auxin in hydrotropism remains unclear. To clarify whether or not auxin is involved in the hydrotropic response, Arabidopsis seedlings were treated with inhibitors of auxin influx (3-chloro-4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid), efflux (1-naphthylphthalemic acid and 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid), and response (p-chlorophenoxyisobutylacetic acid), and their effects were examined on both hydrotropic and gravitropic responses. In agreement with previous reports, gravitropism was inhibited by all the chemicals tested. By contrast, only an inhibitor of the auxin response (p-chlorophenoxyisobutylacetic acid) reduced hydrotropism, whereas inhibitors for influx or efflux of auxin had no effect. These results suggest that auxin response, apart from its polar transport, plays a definite role in hydrotropic response, and will evoke a new concept for the auxin-mediated regulation of tropisms.
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