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Integral control of plant gravitropism through the interplay of hormone signaling and gene regulation

Rodrigo, G.; Jaramillo, A.; Blázquez, M.A.

Biophysical Journal 101(4): 757-763

2011


ISSN/ISBN: 1542-0086
PMID: 21843465
DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.06.047
Accession: 036179241

The interplay between hormone signaling and gene regulatory networks is instrumental in promoting the development of living organisms. In particular, plants have evolved mechanisms to sense gravity and orient themselves accordingly. Here, we present a mathematical model that reproduces plant gravitropic responses based on known molecular genetic interactions for auxin signaling coupled with a physical description of plant reorientation. The model allows one to analyze the spatiotemporal dynamics of the system, triggered by an auxin gradient that induces differential growth of the plant with respect to the gravity vector. Our model predicts two important features with strong biological implications: 1), robustness of the regulatory circuit as a consequence of integral control; and 2), a higher degree of plasticity generated by the molecular interplay between two classes of hormones. Our model also predicts the ability of gibberellins to modulate the tropic response and supports the integration of the hormonal role at the level of gene regulation.

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