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Root hydrotropism is controlled via a cortex-specific growth mechanism


Daniela Dietrich

Lei Pang

Akie Kobayashi

John A. Fozard


Regina Antoni

Tuan Nguyen

Sotaro Hiratsuka

Nobuharu Fujii

Yutaka Miyazawa

Tae-Woong Bae

Principal Research Fellow

Associate Professor

Rosemary J. Dyson

Oliver E. Jensen

Professor of Theoretical Mechanics

Saoirse R. Tracy

Professor of Soil Physics

Jeremy A. Roberts

Rishikesh P. Bhalerao


Pedro L. Rodriguez

Akira Nagatani

Yoichiroh Hosokawa

Tobias I. Baskin

Professor of Computer Science

Lieven De Veylder

Hideyuki Takahashi


Plants can acclimate by using tropisms to link the direction of growth to environmental conditions. Hydrotropism allows roots to forage for water, a process known to depend on abscisic acid (ABA) but whose molecular and cellular basis remains unclear. Here, we show that hydrotropism still occurs in roots after laser ablation removed the meristem and root cap. Additionally, targeted expression studies reveal that hydrotropism depends on the ABA signalling kinase, SnRK2.2, and the hydrotropism-specific MIZ1, both acting specifically in elongation zone cortical cells. Conversely, hydrotropism, but not gravitropism, is inhibited by preventing differential cell-length increases in the cortex, but not in other cell types. We conclude that root tropic responses to gravity and water are driven by distinct tissue-based mechanisms. In addition, unlike its role in root gravitropism, the elongation zone performs a dual function during a hydrotropic response, both sensing a water potential gradient and subsequently undergoing differential growth.


Dietrich, D., Pang, L., Kobayashi, A., Fozard, J. A., Boudolf, V., Bhosale, R., …Bennett, M. J. (2017). Root hydrotropism is controlled via a cortex-specific growth mechanism. Nature Plants, 3(6), Article 17057.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 23, 2017
Online Publication Date May 8, 2017
Publication Date May 8, 2017
Deposit Date May 18, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 18, 2017
Journal Nature Plants
Print ISSN 2055-026X
Electronic ISSN 2055-0278
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 6
Article Number 17057
Public URL
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information Received: 22 June 2016; Accepted: 23 March 2017; First Online: 8 May 2017; : The authors declare no competing financial interests.


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