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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Shed Light on Phototrophism in Dicots

June 10, 2011

A study conducted by Purdue scientist Angus Murphy and colleagues may change how other scientists perceive phototrophism or the plant's tendency to move towards light. The study focuses on dicots, since phototrophism is well-researched in monocots. Using Arabidopsis thaliana as a model for dicots, they discovered that the hormone auxin is distributed from the tip on the plant instead of where the plant's stem bends, which has been previously believed.

"Phototropism is something that everyone who grows a plant in their window knows about," Murphy said. "However, it is also critical to the survival of crop plants, especially at the seedling stageā€¦ We now know what occurs in the first and last stages of phototropism, but still need to understand how lateral auxin distribution actually occurs," he added. As part of the study, they also tested mutations in all known auxin transporter gene and all exhibited phototrophic bending.

Read more details at http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2011/110608MurphyDarwin.html.