Summary: The directional growth of organisms in response to gravity. In plants, the main root is positively gravitropic (growing downwards) and a main stem is negatively gravitropic (growing upwards), irrespective of the positions in which they are placed. Plant gravitropism is thought to be controlled by auxin (AUXINS), a plant growth substance. (From Concise Dictionary of Biology, 1990)

Top Publications

  1. Elwell A, Gronwall D, Miller N, Spalding E, Brooks T. Separating parental environment from seed size effects on next generation growth and development in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell Environ. 2011;34:291-301 pubmed publisher
    ..that seed size effects were particularly significant early in development, affecting primary root growth and gravitropism, but also flowering time...
  2. Dharmasiri S, Swarup R, Mockaitis K, Dharmasiri N, Singh S, Kowalchyk M, et al. AXR4 is required for localization of the auxin influx facilitator AUX1. Science. 2006;312:1218-20 pubmed
    ..The AUX1 and PIN auxin influx and efflux facilitators are key regulators of root growth and development. For root gravitropism to occur, AUX1 and PIN2 must transport auxin via the lateral root cap to elongating epidermal cells...
  3. Hobbie L. Auxin and cell polarity: the emergence of AXR4. Trends Plant Sci. 2006;11:517-8 pubmed
    ..of the Arabidopsis auxin influx facilitator protein AUX1 in certain cell types is essential for normal root gravitropism and lateral root formation...
  4. Yano D, Sato M, Saito C, Sato M, Morita M, Tasaka M. A SNARE complex containing SGR3/AtVAM3 and ZIG/VTI11 in gravity-sensing cells is important for Arabidopsis shoot gravitropism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003;100:8589-94 pubmed
    ..The molecular mechanisms of gravity sensing and signal transduction during gravitropism are not well known. We have isolated several shoot gravitropism (sgr) mutants of Arabidopsis...
  5. Eapen D, Barroso M, Campos M, Ponce G, Corkidi G, Dubrovsky J, et al. A no hydrotropic response root mutant that responds positively to gravitropism in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 2003;131:536-46 pubmed
    ..These results showed that hydrotropism is amenable to genetic analysis and that an ABA signaling pathway participates in sensing water potential gradients through the root cap. ..
  6. de Silva K, Laska B, Brown C, Sederoff H, Khodakovskaya M. Arabidopsis thaliana calcium-dependent lipid-binding protein (AtCLB): a novel repressor of abiotic stress response. J Exp Bot. 2011;62:2679-89 pubmed publisher
    ..Expression of AtTHAS1 in Atclb knockout mutant lines was increased compared with wild type and a 35S-Atclb overexpression line suggesting AtCLB as a transcriptional repressor of AtTHAS1. ..
  7. Rojas Pierce M, Titapiwatanakun B, Sohn E, Fang F, Larive C, Blakeslee J, et al. Arabidopsis P-glycoprotein19 participates in the inhibition of gravitropism by gravacin. Chem Biol. 2007;14:1366-76 pubmed
    ..We previously identified Gravacin as a potent inhibitor of gravitropism in Arabidopsis thaliana...
  8. Yoshihara T, Spalding E, Iino M. AtLAZY1 is a signaling component required for gravitropism of the Arabidopsis thaliana inflorescence. Plant J. 2013;74:267-79 pubmed publisher
    ..with LAZY1, a gene in Oryza sativa (rice) shown to participate in the early gravity signaling for shoot gravitropism. A T-DNA insertion into the Arabidopsis gene (At5g14090) most similar to LAZY1 increased the inflorescence ..
  9. Takahashi H, Miyazawa Y, Fujii N. Hormonal interactions during root tropic growth: hydrotropism versus gravitropism. Plant Mol Biol. 2009;69:489-502 pubmed publisher
    ..Recent molecular genetic studies have strongly supported this hypothesis for gravitropism. However, the molecular mechanisms of other tropisms are far less clear...

More Information


  1. Young L, Harrison B, Narayana Murthy U, Moffatt B, Gilroy S, Masson P. Adenosine kinase modulates root gravitropism and cap morphogenesis in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 2006;142:564-73 pubmed
    ..Here, we show that ADK is a modulator of root cap morphogenesis and gravitropism. Upon gravistimulation, soluble ADK levels and activity increase in the root tip...
  2. Yoneyama E, Ishimoto Negishi Y, Sano Y, Funada R, Yamada M, Nakamura T. Morphological changes in woody stem of Prunus jamasakura under simulated microgravity. Biol Sci Space. 2004;18:3-6 pubmed
    ..Gravity is an essential factor for keeping the division and differentiation normal in woody stem. ..
  3. Soga K, Wakabayashi K, Kamisaka S, Hoson T. Graviperception in growth inhibition of plant shoots under hypergravity conditions produced by centrifugation is independent of that in gravitropism and may involve mechanoreceptors. Planta. 2004;218:1054-61 pubmed
    ..Hypergravity caused growth suppression in both sgr1-1 and pgm1, which are Arabidopsis mutants deprived of gravitropism, as in wild-type plants, suggesting that the graviperception in hypergravity-induced growth inhibition of ..
  4. Yoshihara T, Iino M. Identification of the gravitropism-related rice gene LAZY1 and elucidation of LAZY1-dependent and -independent gravity signaling pathways. Plant Cell Physiol. 2007;48:678-88 pubmed
    ..Confirming and advancing the previously reported results on lazy1 mutants, we found the following. (i) Gravitropism is impaired, but only partially, in lazy1 coleoptiles...
  5. Oliva M, Dunand C. Waving and skewing: how gravity and the surface of growth media affect root development in Arabidopsis. New Phytol. 2007;176:37-43 pubmed
    ..The recent discovery of an active role of ethylene on surface-dependent root behaviour, and the finding of new mutants showing anomalous growth, pave the way for a more detailed description of these phenomena. ..
  6. Lucas M, Godin C, Jay Allemand C, Laplaze L. Auxin fluxes in the root apex co-regulate gravitropism and lateral root initiation. J Exp Bot. 2008;59:55-66 pubmed
    ..Here it is shown that lateral root initiation and root gravitropism, two processes that are regulated by auxin, are co-regulated in Arabidopsis...
  7. Noh B, Bandyopadhyay A, Peer W, Spalding E, Murphy A. Enhanced gravi- and phototropism in plant mdr mutants mislocalizing the auxin efflux protein PIN1. Nature. 2003;423:999-1002 pubmed
    ..Here we show that the mdr mutants display faster and greater gravitropism and enhanced phototropism instead of the impaired curvature development expected in mutants lacking polar auxin ..
  8. Wang Y, Lin W, Chen X, Xue H. The role of Arabidopsis 5PTase13 in root gravitropism through modulation of vesicle trafficking. Cell Res. 2009;19:1191-204 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that 5PTase13 may modulate auxin transport by regulating vesicle trafficking and thereby play a role in root gravitropism.
  9. Stanga J, Boonsirichai K, Sedbrook J, Otegui M, Masson P. A role for the TOC complex in Arabidopsis root gravitropism. Plant Physiol. 2009;149:1896-905 pubmed publisher
    ..Starch-dense amyloplasts within the columella cells of the root cap are important for gravitropism, and starchless mutants such as pgm1 display an attenuated response to gravistimulation...
  10. Boonsirichai K, Guan C, Chen R, Masson P. Root gravitropism: an experimental tool to investigate basic cellular and molecular processes underlying mechanosensing and signal transmission in plants. Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2002;53:421-47 pubmed
    The ability of plant organs to use gravity as a guide for growth, named gravitropism, has been recognized for over two centuries...
  11. Plieth C, Trewavas A. Reorientation of seedlings in the earth's gravitational field induces cytosolic calcium transients. Plant Physiol. 2002;129:786-96 pubmed
    ..It is concluded that [Ca(2+)](c) is part of the gravity transduction mechanism in young Arabidopsis seedlings. ..
  12. Hu L, Cui D, Zang A, Neill S, Cai W. Auxin-regulated OsRGP1 and OsSuS are involved in gravitropic bending of rice shoot bases. Fen Zi Xi Bao Sheng Wu Xue Bao. 2009;42:27-34 pubmed
    ..The two genes were differentially induced in lower and upper halves of the shoot bases during gravitropism and their expression was regulated by auxin...
  13. Han W, Rong H, Zhang H, Wang M. Abscisic acid is a negative regulator of root gravitropism in Arabidopsis thaliana. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2009;378:695-700 pubmed publisher
    The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays a role in root gravitropism and has led to an intense debate over whether ABA acts similar to auxin by translating the gravitational signal into directional root growth...
  14. Sugano M, Nakagawa Y, Nyunoya H, Nakamura T. Expression of gibberellin 3 beta-hydroxylase gene in a gravi-response mutant, weeping Japanese flowering cherry. Biol Sci Space. 2004;18:261-6 pubmed
    ..These results suggest that the amount and distribution of synthesized gibberellin regulate secondary xylem formation, and the unbalanced distribution of gibberellin affects the gravi-response of the Prunus tree. ..
  15. Buer C, Sukumar P, Muday G. Ethylene modulates flavonoid accumulation and gravitropic responses in roots of Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 2006;140:1384-96 pubmed
    ..We explored the role of ethylene in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) root gravitropism. Treatment of wild-type Columbia seedlings with the ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane carboxylic acid (ACC)..
  16. Huang S, Chang C, Wang P, Tsai M, Hsu P, Chang I. A type III ACC synthase, ACS7, is involved in root gravitropism in Arabidopsis thaliana. J Exp Bot. 2013;64:4343-60 pubmed publisher
    ..The acs7-1 mutant exhibited less sensitivity to the inhibition of root gravitropism by treatment with the calcium chelator ethylene glycol tetraacetic acid (EGTA)...
  17. Al Hammadi A, Sreelakshmi Y, Negi S, Siddiqi I, Sharma R. The polycotyledon mutant of tomato shows enhanced polar auxin transport. Plant Physiol. 2003;133:113-25 pubmed
    ..of flowers (indeterminacy) with abnormal floral organs, the formation of epiphyllous structures, and altered gravitropism. The earliest defects were observed at the transition from the globular to the heart stage of embryogenesis ..
  18. Lewis D, Miller N, Splitt B, Wu G, Spalding E. Separating the roles of acropetal and basipetal auxin transport on gravitropism with mutations in two Arabidopsis multidrug resistance-like ABC transporter genes. Plant Cell. 2007;19:1838-50 pubmed
    ..However, upon 90 degrees reorientation, mdr1 gravitropism was inseparable from the wild type...
  19. Azri W, Chambon C, Herbette S, Brunel N, Coutand C, Leplé J, et al. Proteome analysis of apical and basal regions of poplar stems under gravitropic stimulation. Physiol Plant. 2009;136:193-208 pubmed publisher
    ..Our results suggest that primary and secondary tissues present specific mechanisms to sense reorientation and to respond to inclination. Some selected proteins are discussed. ..
  20. Morita M, Kato T, Nagafusa K, Saito C, Ueda T, Nakano A, et al. Involvement of the vacuoles of the endodermis in the early process of shoot gravitropism in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 2002;14:47-56 pubmed
    ..Endodermis-specific expression of SGR2 and ZIG using the SCR promoter could complement the abnormal shoot gravitropism of the sgr2 and zig mutants, respectively...
  21. Correll M, Coveney K, Raines S, Mullen J, Hangarter R, Kiss J. Phytochromes play a role in phototropism and gravitropism in Arabidopsis roots. Adv Space Res. 2003;31:2203-10 pubmed
    Phototropism as well as gravitropism plays a role in the oriented growth of roots in flowering plants. In blue or white light, roots exhibit negative phototropism, but red light induces positive phototropism in Arabidopsis roots...
  22. Hou G, Kramer V, Wang Y, Chen R, Perbal G, Gilroy S, et al. The promotion of gravitropism in Arabidopsis roots upon actin disruption is coupled with the extended alkalinization of the columella cytoplasm and a persistent lateral auxin gradient. Plant J. 2004;39:113-25 pubmed
    The actin cytoskeleton has been implicated in regulating plant gravitropism. However, its precise role in this process remains uncertain...
  23. Saito C, Morita M, Kato T, Tasaka M. Amyloplasts and vacuolar membrane dynamics in the living graviperceptive cell of the Arabidopsis inflorescence stem. Plant Cell. 2005;17:548-58 pubmed
    ..We also discuss the data on the two kinds of movements of amyloplasts that may play an important role in gravitropism: (1) the leading edge amyloplasts and (2) the en mass movement of amyloplasts.
  24. Baldwin K, Strohm A, Masson P. Gravity sensing and signal transduction in vascular plant primary roots. Am J Bot. 2013;100:126-42 pubmed publisher
    During gravitropism, the potential energy of gravity is converted into a biochemical signal. How this transfer occurs remains one of the most exciting mysteries in plant cell biology. New experiments are filling in pieces of the puzzle...
  25. Band L, Wells D, Larrieu A, Sun J, Middleton A, French A, et al. Root gravitropism is regulated by a transient lateral auxin gradient controlled by a tipping-point mechanism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109:4668-73 pubmed publisher
    ..These mechanistic insights illustrate the scientific value of developing quantitative reporters such as DII-VENUS in conjunction with parameterized mathematical models to provide high-resolution kinetics of hormone redistribution. ..
  26. De Smet I, Tetsumura T, De Rybel B, Frei dit Frey N, Laplaze L, Casimiro I, et al. Auxin-dependent regulation of lateral root positioning in the basal meristem of Arabidopsis. Development. 2007;134:681-90 pubmed
    ..Third, auxin signaling in the basal meristem triggers pericycle cells for lateral root initiation prior to the action of INDOLE-3-ACETIC ACID14 (SOLITARY ROOT). ..
  27. Petrasek J, Mravec J, Bouchard R, Blakeslee J, Abas M, Seifertov√° D, et al. PIN proteins perform a rate-limiting function in cellular auxin efflux. Science. 2006;312:914-8 pubmed
    ..This suggests a direct involvement of PINs in catalyzing cellular auxin efflux...
  28. Blancaflor E, Masson P. Plant gravitropism. Unraveling the ups and downs of a complex process. Plant Physiol. 2003;133:1677-90 pubmed
  29. Surpin M, Rojas Pierce M, Carter C, Hicks G, Vasquez J, Raikhel N. The power of chemical genomics to study the link between endomembrane system components and the gravitropic response. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102:4902-7 pubmed
    ..Recently, a link has been established between endomembrane trafficking and gravitropism. To understand this link, we screened a library of 10,000 diverse chemicals for compounds that affected the ..
  30. Muday G. Auxins and tropisms. J Plant Growth Regul. 2001;20:226-43 pubmed which these differential growth responses are induced are as yet unknown, auxin has been implicated in both gravitropism and phototropism...
  31. Kleine Vehn J, Leitner J, Zwiewka M, Sauer M, Abas L, Luschnig C, et al. Differential degradation of PIN2 auxin efflux carrier by retromer-dependent vacuolar targeting. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105:17812-7 pubmed publisher
  32. Blancaflor E. The cytoskeleton and gravitropism in higher plants. J Plant Growth Regul. 2002;21:120-36 pubmed
    ..Lately there has been increased attention on the role of the cytoskeleton in plant gravitropism, but several controversies and major gaps in our understanding of cytoskeletal involvement in gravitropism ..
  33. Wolverton C, Ishikawa H, Evans M. The kinetics of root gravitropism: dual motors and sensors. J Plant Growth Regul. 2002;21:102-12 pubmed
    The Cholodny-Went theory of tropisms has served as a framework for investigation of root gravitropism for nearly three quarters of a century...
  34. Haga K, Iino M. Asymmetric distribution of auxin correlates with gravitropism and phototropism but not with autostraightening (autotropism) in pea epicotyls. J Exp Bot. 2006;57:837-47 pubmed
    ..The tropisms investigated were gravitropism, pulse-induced phototropism, and time-dependent phototropism...
  35. Kato T, Morita M, Fukaki H, Yamauchi Y, Uehara M, Niihama M, et al. SGR2, a phospholipase-like protein, and ZIG/SGR4, a SNARE, are involved in the shoot gravitropism of Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. 2002;14:33-46 pubmed
    In higher plants, the shoot and the root generally show negative and positive gravitropism, respectively. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in gravitropism, we have isolated many shoot gravitropism mutants in Arabidopsis...
  36. Morita M, Tasaka M. Gravity sensing and signaling. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2004;7:712-8 pubmed
    b>Gravitropism has attracted much attention from plant biologists...
  37. Dong Z, Jiang C, Chen X, Zhang T, Ding L, Song W, et al. Maize LAZY1 mediates shoot gravitropism and inflorescence development through regulating auxin transport, auxin signaling, and light response. Plant Physiol. 2013;163:1306-22 pubmed publisher
    Auxin is a plant hormone that plays key roles in both shoot gravitropism and inflorescence development. However, these two processes appear to be parallel and to be regulated by distinct players...
  38. Wu X, Tang D, Li M, Wang K, Cheng Z. Loose Plant Architecture1, an INDETERMINATE DOMAIN protein involved in shoot gravitropism, regulates plant architecture in rice. Plant Physiol. 2013;161:317-29 pubmed publisher
    ..LPA1 was also found to affect shoot gravitropism. Expression pattern analysis suggested that LPA1 influences plant architecture by affecting the gravitropism of ..
  39. Bai H, Murali B, Barber K, Wolverton C. Low phosphate alters lateral root setpoint angle and gravitropism. Am J Bot. 2013;100:175-82 pubmed publisher
    ..response similar to wild-type roots grown on low Pi, supporting a role for Pi status in regulating lateral root gravitropism. Lateral root orientation and gravitropism are affected by Pi status and may provide an important additional ..
  40. Santisree P, Nongmaithem S, Vasuki H, Sreelakshmi Y, Ivanchenko M, Sharma R. Tomato root penetration in soil requires a coaction between ethylene and auxin signaling. Plant Physiol. 2011;156:1424-38 pubmed publisher
    During seed germination, emerging roots display positive gravitropism and penetrate into the soil for nutrition and anchorage...
  41. Edelmann H, Roth U. Gravitropic plant growth regulation and ethylene: an unsought cardinal coordinate for a disused model. Protoplasma. 2006;229:183-91 pubmed
    ..They corroborate the crucial regulatory role of ethylene for gravitropic differential growth, both in roots and coleoptiles of maize as well as in hypocotyls. ..
  42. Aloni R, Aloni E, Langhans M, Ullrich C. Role of cytokinin and auxin in shaping root architecture: regulating vascular differentiation, lateral root initiation, root apical dominance and root gravitropism. Ann Bot. 2006;97:883-93 pubmed
    ..Both IAA and CK regulate root gravitropism. The aims of this study were to analyse the hormonal mechanisms that induce the root's primary vascular system, ..
  43. Paciorek T, Zazimalova E, Ruthardt N, Petrasek J, Stierhof Y, Kleine Vehn J, et al. Auxin inhibits endocytosis and promotes its own efflux from cells. Nature. 2005;435:1251-6 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, asymmetric auxin translocation during gravitropism is correlated with decreased PIN internalization...
  44. Galland P. Tropisms of Avena coleoptiles: sine law for gravitropism, exponential law for photogravitropic equilibrium. Planta. 2002;215:779-84 pubmed
    The quantitative relation between gravitropism and phototropism was analyzed for light-grown coleoptiles of Avena sativa (L.). With respect to gravitropism the coleoptiles obeyed the sine law...
  45. Correll M, Kiss J. Interactions between gravitropism and phototropism in plants. J Plant Growth Regul. 2002;21:89-101 pubmed
    ..This article is focused on the interactions between the light- and gravity-transduction pathways and describes methods used to separate the influences of these two environmental stimuli. ..
  46. Belyavskaya N. Lithium-induced changes in gravicurvature, statocyte ultrastructure and calcium balance of pea roots. Adv Space Res. 2001;27:961-6 pubmed
    ..The work demonstrates the key role played by second messengers (Ca2+ and IP3) in a gravity perception and response. ..
  47. Wolverton C, Paya A, Toska J. Root cap angle and gravitropic response rate are uncoupled in the Arabidopsis pgm-1 mutant. Physiol Plant. 2011;141:373-82 pubmed publisher
    ..The overall aim of this study was to investigate the relationship among plastid sedimentation, gravitropism and auxin flux. Our data show that pgm-1 roots respond to gravity at one-third the rate of wild-type (WT) roots...
  48. Boccalandro H, De Simone S, Bergmann Honsberger A, Schepens I, Fankhauser C, Casal J. PHYTOCHROME KINASE SUBSTRATE1 regulates root phototropism and gravitropism. Plant Physiol. 2008;146:108-15 pubmed
    ..The negative regulation of gravitropism by PKS1 occurred even in dark-grown seedlings and did not require phyA...
  49. Jiang J, Su M, Wang L, Jiao C, Sun Z, Cheng W, et al. Exogenous hydrogen peroxide reversibly inhibits root gravitropism and induces horizontal curvature of primary root during grass pea germination. Plant Physiol Biochem. 2012;53:84-93 pubmed publisher
    ..grew perpendicular to the bottom of the Petri dish, due to gravitropism. However, when germinated in exogenous hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)), the primary roots grew parallel to the ..
  50. Baster P, Robert S, Kleine Vehn J, Vanneste S, Kania U, Grunewald W, et al. SCF(TIR1/AFB)-auxin signalling regulates PIN vacuolar trafficking and auxin fluxes during root gravitropism. EMBO J. 2013;32:260-74 pubmed publisher
    ..We provide novel insights into the complex regulation of PIN abundance and activity during root gravitropism. We show that PIN2 turnover is differentially regulated on the upper and lower side of gravistimulated roots by ..
  51. Rigas S, Ditengou F, Ljung K, Daras G, Tietz O, Palme K, et al. Root gravitropism and root hair development constitute coupled developmental responses regulated by auxin homeostasis in the Arabidopsis root apex. New Phytol. 2013;197:1130-41 pubmed publisher
    ..Auxin modulates gravitropism at the root tip and root hair morphogenesis at the differentiation zone...
  52. Kiss J. Mechanisms of the early phases of plant gravitropism. CRC Crit Rev Plant Sci. 2000;19:551-73 pubmed
    b>Gravitropism is directed growth of a plant or plant organ in response to gravity and can be divided into the following temporal sequence: perception, transduction, and response...
  53. Jourdan C, Michaux Ferriere N, Perbal G. Root system architecture and gravitropism in the oil palm. Ann Bot. 2000;85:861-8 pubmed
    ..a root system consisting of primary (or order 1) roots, which are either orthogravitropic (R1 VD, with positive gravitropism) or diagravitropic (R1 H). Their statenchyma have very similar characteristics (mainly vacuolated, large cells)...