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Phenotypic plasticity in a physiological perspective

Phenotypic plasticity in a physiological perspective

Acta Oecologica Oecologia Plantarum 9(1): 43-60

Phenotypic plasticity is a neglected area of research in plant physiology, whereas an abundance of data is available and may used for interpretation in terms of plasticiity. The plastic response has three main characteristics: the amount, the direction and the response time. The latter is very important for plant physiologists. Differences in response time, the time between the change in an environmental factor and the performance of the plastic response, may reveal information about the physiological mechanisms of plasticity. The rapidity of a response points to its importance and plant's strategy. Another discrimination among plastic responses is the subdivision in direct and indirect responses. A direct response is the reaction of a plant trait to the environmental stimulus itself, whereas in an indirect response one or more translation- and transport steps are mediating the environmental stimulus to the responsive plant trait. In this paper we ill present a survey of phenotypic plasticity to three important environmental factors: light, temperature and nutrition. Emphasis will be put on nutrition; we will propose a model for growth regulation, including the shoot to root ratio, by cytokinin production in the root tips. Cytokinin productions is sensitive to the mineral supply and cytokinins will influence the growth rate of shoot and root and thus shoot to root ratio. A direct growth response, on the contrary, is not mediated by cytokinins and is not accompanied by a shift of the shoot to root ratio.

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Accession: 001653823

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