Hormonal Control in Plants Requirements for Growth & Reproduction 2010
Why would plants need hormones? • Controlling growth • Responses to environmental changes • Controlling reproductive cycles • Responses to competition for resources
When a seed begins to grow into a plant, why does the root grow downwards and the shoot grow upwards?
Gravitropism • Heavier organelles settle on the lower side of cells • Auxin concentrates in cells on lower side, causing differential growth
Mechanism of Action • loosens cell wall cells elongate • auxin stimulates proton pumps • pump protons (H+) into cell wall • expansins modify hydrogen bonds between cellulose molecules • molecules slide past one another, allowing for elongation
Photo=light Tropism=growth Plants grow towards a light source. Charles Darwin and his son carried out a series of experiments to determine what controlled phototropism (1881) Phototropism
Oat shoots were used A light source was placed on one side The top of one shoot was covered with tinfoil to keep out the light Experiment 1
Write down your predictions: • Why was the top of the shoot covered with tinfoil?
The uncovered shoot bends towards the light The covered shoot remains straight Therefore the tip of the shoot is required to detect the light stimulus Results
In another experiment, they covered the tip with a transparent glass tube. Predict what occurred.
a) the tip was cut off b) the tip was cut off, then replaced c) the tip was cut off, then replaced on a block of agar d) the tip was cut off, then replaced on a metal disc Experiment 2
Write down your predictions: • a) • b) • c) • d)
The tip is required for growth The hormone was able to diffuse through the agar and cause growth The metal disc prevented growth from occurring Therefore the tip produces a hormone which diffuses downwards and promotes growth Results
This experiment was carried out by Frits Went in 1926 He placed tips of shoots on blocks of agar, so that the hormone diffused into them. He than placed the agar blocks on different areas of the cut tips. Experiment 3
The growth hormone diffused into the agar Uneven concentrations on one side of the shoot caused bending Results
The hormone involved is a member of a group of hormones called auxins. • The specific hormone is IAA (indole acetic acid). • If the tip is exposed to light on one side, the IAA drifts to the darker side. This prompts that side to grow more, bending the tip towards the light source.
Questions • What is the advantage of phototropism? • What would happen to a plant placed under lights which shone on it from all directions?
Photo=light Period=time Why do flowers which are open during the day close at night? What controls the time of year when plants flower? Photoperiodism
The plants’ biological clock is set to a 21-27 hour cycle. Some plants close their flowers or leaves at night. This prevents loss of heat and frost damage. Photosynthesis, auxin production and cell division also rise & fall with the circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms
Long day plants Long days of sunlight and short nights stimulate flowering E.g. lettuce, clover Short day plants Short days and long nights stimulate flowering E.g. dahlias, chrysanthemums
Questions • At what time of the year would long day plants flower? • What is the advantage of this? • At what time of the year would short day plants flower? • What is the advantage of this? • What about tropical plants growing on the equator? When would they flower?
Phytochrome • A pigment called phytochrome detects the amount of daylight in each diurnal (day/night) cycle. • It has two forms • Pr (biologically inactive) • Pfr (biologically active) • Pr is converted into Pfr by exposure to light • It is involved in seed germination, leaf growth, flowering and dormancy. • Inhibits flowering in short day plants • Induces flowering in long day plants