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Plant Hormones: Control of Growth & Flowering DP Biology 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Plant Hormones: Control of Growth & Flowering DP Biology 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Plant Hormones: Control of Growth & Flowering DP Biology 2009

2 Plant Hormones Many aspects of plant function are controlled and regulated through the action of hormones. What hormones have we already discussed?

3 Plant Hormones Many aspects of plant function are controlled and regulated through the action of hormones.  Abscisic acid : closes guard cells  Gibberellin: stimulates embryo growth and production of amylase.

4 Plant Hormones Many aspects of plant function are controlled and regulated through the action of hormones.  Abscisic acid : closes guard cells  Gibberellin: stimulates embryo growth and production of amylase. Just one other one you need to know for IB …  Auxin: stimulates stem & fruit growth, root formation, and phototropism.

5 Other Plant Hormones (FYI)  Brassinosteroids: growth of stem & pollen tubule, vascular tissue differentiation  Cytokinins: work with auxin, promote growth & inhibit senescence  Ethylenes: promotes fruit ripening and leaf abscission  Jasmonates / Oligosaccharins / Salicylic Acid : stimulates protection against herbivores and/or pathogens

6 Auxin & Plant Growth  Auxin promotes the elongation of cells. (Not the formation of new cells … why?)

7 Auxin & Plant Growth  Auxin promotes the elongation of cells.  Plant cell elongation is usually prevented by … ?

8 Auxin & Plant Growth  Auxin promotes the elongation of cells.  Plant cell elongation is usually prevented by the cell wall.

9 Auxin & Plant Growth  Auxin promotes the elongation of cells.  Plant cell elongation is usually prevented by the cell wall.  Auxin loosens the cell wall of plants, allowing the central vacuole to take up more water and stretch the cell by tugor pressure.

10 Auxin & Plant Growth  Auxin promotes the elongation of cells.  Plant cell elongation is usually prevented by the cell wall.  Auxin loosens the cell wall of plants, allowing the central vacuole to take up more water and stretch the cell by tugor pressure.  The cell wall can be re-strengthened by the addition of more cellulose fibers.

11 Auxin & Plant Growth How does auxin ‘loosen’ cell walls?  Auxin increases the H + concentration in cell wall (with what effect on pH?)

12 Auxin & Plant Growth How does auxin ‘loosen’ cell walls?  Auxin increases the H + concentration in cell wall (lowering the pH)

13 Auxin & Plant Growth How does auxin ‘loosen’ cell walls?  Auxin increases the H + concentration in cell wall (lowering the pH)  H + triggers proteins called expansions to break up hydrogen bonds between cellulose fibers, allowing them to slide past each other. See animation:

14 Auxin & Phototropism  Tropisms are directional growth responses.  Auxin mediates phototropism -- the growth of the stem towards light.

15 Auxin & Phototropism  Photoreceptors in shoot tip absorb light.  Detection of light causes proteins that redistribute auxin to be produced.  Auxin is moved from the tip (where it is produced) down through the stem. photoreceptors

16 Auxin & Phototropism  Auxin is concentrated in the shady side of the stem, promoting greater elongation there.  Uneven elongation promotes curving of stem towards light. See animation: biosci10v/bis10v/media/ ch19/auxin_phototropism.html photoreceptors

17 Other Tropisms (FYI)  Can you think of any other plant tropisms?

18 Other Tropisms (FYI)  Geotropism: Growth towards or away from gravity.  Thigmotropism : Growth towards touch. Time lapse videos for fun … /movements/tropism/tropisms.html

19 Control of Flowering  Flowering in many plants is seasonal, and closely related to day-length.  “Long-day” plants flower in the summer, whereas “Short-day” plants flower in the winter.

20 Control of Flowering  Flowering in many plants is seasonal, and closely related to day-length.  “Long-day” plants flower in the summer, whereas “Short-day” plants flower in the autumn.  Experiments have shown that it is not the length of the day that matter, but rather the length of the night.

21 Control of Flowering Plants have a critical night length that determines the timing of flowering. What does this mean?

22 Control of Flowering Plants have a critical night length that determines the timing of flowering.  Long-day plants flower if the night is shorter than critical value.  Short-day plants flower if night is longer than critical value.

23 Control of Flowering How can we tell that it is night length that matters?

24 Control of Flowering Experimenters interrupted dark and light periods with a flash of light or a brief period of dark. What do their results suggest? D

25 Control of Flowering  A flash of light during night affects flowering  Dark spell during day does not affect flowering. D

26 Measuring “dark” Pigments in leaves called phytochromes absorb light.  P R absorbs red light (660 nm) and converts to P FR  P FR absorbs far-red light (730nm) and converts to P R  P FR slowly degrades into P R

27 Measuring “dark” Sunlight contains far more red light than far-red light, so while exposed to sunlight, most of phytochrome is in P FR state. At the end of the night, much of the P FR has converted back to P R.

28 Measuring “dark” The amount of P FR in the leaves at the start of the day determines whether plants flower. How does the response differ in short- and long- day plants?  Flowering is inhibited by P FR in short-day plants  Flowering is promoted by P FR in long-day plants

29 Measuring “dark” Experiments support the role of P FR in determining timing of flowering.

30 ‘Florigen’ discussion  Phytochromes are found in leaves, but their effects are seen elsewhere in a plant.  A single leaf is enough to control flowering in a large plant -- even several plants grafted together.

31 ‘Florigen’ discussion  Scientists have long suspected that a hormone is involved in controlling this response -- its even been given a name: florigen.  Yet, despite decades of intense research, no one has been able to isolate and identify this hormone.

32 ‘Florigen’ discussion  Scientists have long suspected that a hormone is involved in controlling this response -- its even been given a name: florigen.  Yet, despite decades of intense research, no one has been able to isolate and identify this hormone.

33 ‘Florigen’ discussion  Why would the theory persist, even though scientists have failed to identify the hormone?  Does a failure to identify the hormone indicate a lack of evidence for its existence?

34 ‘Florigen’ discussion  Most scientists agree that a theory is not ‘scientific’ unless it is falsifiable. What does this mean?  What do you think of the following quote from the 1970s: “"Flowering is a religion based on the totally unfounded dogma of florigen."

35 ‘Florigen’ discussion  What would a scientist have to do to show that florigen doesn’t exist?  Can you think of any other non-falsifiable ‘theories’ in science?

36 Recent Florigen Developments Recently a few molecules (proteins & RNAs) have been discovered that either are the elusive florigen -- or are otherwise involved in generating the signal.


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