Chemical substances controlling plant leaf movement

Minoru Ueda, Shosuke Yamamura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The leaves of Mimosa pudica L. are known for their rapid movement when touched. Recently, we were able to isolate an excitatory substance in small quantities (activity: approximately 10-8 ∼ 10-9 M) from the same plant, which consists of three different components (potassium L-malate, magnesium transaconitate, and dimethylammonium salt). Many plants close their leaves in the evening, as if to sleep, and open them early in the morning. This circadian rhythm is known to be controlled by the biological clock of such plants. Extensive studies on other nyctinastic plants led to the isolation of a variety of leaf-closing and leaf-opening substances. Based on our experiments on these bioactive substances, we found that the circadian rhythmic leaf movement of these plants is controlled by a biological clock that regulates the balance of concentration between leaf-opening and closing substances.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-260
Number of pages24
JournalReviews on Heteroatom Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Bioactive substance
  • Biological clock
  • Mimosa pudica L.
  • Nyctinastic movement


Dive into the research topics of 'Chemical substances controlling plant leaf movement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this