Nyctinastic plants open and close leaves with a circadian rhythm. Here we discuss chemical aspects of the mechanism of nyctinastic leaf movement. Nyctinastic plants from five different genera are known to contain species-specific leaf-opening and leaf-closing factors. The relative concentrations of leaf-closing and leaf-opening factors of the nyctinastic plant Phyllanthus urinaria change circadianly, suggesting that nyctinastic movement is regulated by two classes of circadianly regulated factors with opposing functions. A closing and an opening factor of Albizzia, when linked to a fluorescent dye, both specifically labeled motor cells of pluvini. A membrane fraction of pluvini contains proteins of 210 and 180 kDa that bind to a leaf-opening factor of Cassia mimosoides. The molecular identification of these proteins is underway.
- Endogenous bioactive substance
- Motor cell