Phototropism - Root and Shoot Morphogenesis
Paratonic growth movement of part of a plant in response to light, e.g. bending of stems of indoor plants towards a window, brought about by increased elongation of cells in growth region at tip of stem on shaded side. Coleoptiles of dark grown Avena seedlings bend towards light, when we provide unilateral light. The tip is found to be playing a role. Actually the tip is site of auxin production. If the tip is removed there is no response to unilateral light. But an agar block containing auxins can substitute for the tip and coleoptile would bend towards the light as if it had not been decapitated. The coleoptile bends towards light because of unequal elongation of cells on two sides. The cells on the darker side elongate faster than those cells on two sides exposed to light.
Generally accepted that effect is due to greater concentration of auxin on dark side than on side facing light but some recent evidence suggests asymmetric distribution of some co-factor that influences auxin effect. Shoots always bend and grow towards light. It is an adaptive mechanism, no doubt. Here, also the auxin is agents that mediate light control just as in coleoptile. One question that needs to be asked is whether the extent of phototropism is proportional to the duration of exposure to light. Secondly, whether the magnitude of curvature is proportional to the energy content of the inducing light.