In higher plants, gravity is a major environmental cue that governs growth orientation, a phenomenon termed gravitropism. It has been suggested that gravity also affects other aspects of morphogenesis, such as circumnutation and winding movements. Previously, we showed that these aspects of plant growth morphology require amyloplast sedimentation inside gravisensing endodermal cells. However, the molecular mechanism of the graviresponse and its relationship to circumnutation and winding remains obscure. Here, we have characterized a novel shoot gravitropic mutant of morning glory, weeping2 (we2). In the we2 mutant, the gravitropic response of the stem was absent, and hypocotyls exhibited a severely reduced gravitropic response, whereas roots showed normal gravitropism. In agreement with our previous studies, we found that we2 mutant has defects in shoot circumnutation and winding. Histological analysis showed that we2 mutant forms abnormal endodermal cells. We identified a mutation in the morning glory homolog of SHORT-ROOT (PnSHR1) that was genetically linked to the agravitropic phenotype of we2 mutant, and which may underlie the abnormal differentiation of endodermal cells in this plant. These results suggest that the phenotype of we2 mutant is due to a mutation of PnSHR1, and that PnSHR1 regulates gravimorphogenesis, including circumnutation and winding movements, in morning glory.
- Endodermal cells
- Morning glory