, Volume 255, Issue 5, pp 1505–1515 | Cite as

Arabidopsis petiole torsions induced by lateral light or externally supplied auxin require microtubule-associated TORTIFOLIA1/SPIRAL2

  • A. Borchers
  • M. Deckena
  • H. Buschmann
Original Article


Although rather inconspicuous, movements are an important adaptive trait of plants. Consequently, light- or gravity-induced movements leading to organ bending have been studied intensively. In the field, however, plant movements often result in organ twisting rather than bending. This study investigates the mechanism of light- or gravity-induced twisting movements, coined “helical tropisms.” Because certain Arabidopsis cell expansion mutants show organ twisting under standard growth conditions, we here investigated how the right-handed helical growth mutant tortifolia1/spiral2 (tor1) responds when stimulated to perform helical tropisms. When leaves were illuminated from the left, tor1 was capable of producing left-handed petiole torsions, but these occurred at a reduced rate. When light was applied from right, tor1 plants rotated their petioles much faster than the wild-type. Applying auxin to the lateral-distal side of wild-type petioles produced petiole torsions in which the auxinated flank was consistently turned upwards. This kind of movement was not observed in tor1 mutants when auxinated to produce left-handed movements. Investigating auxin transport in twisting petioles based on the DR5-marker suggested that auxin flow was apical-basal rather than helical. While cortical microtubules of excised wild-type petioles oriented transversely when stimulated with auxin, those of tor1 were largely incapable of reorientation. Together, our results show that tor1 is a tropism mutant and suggest a mechanism in which auxin and microtubules both contribute to helical tropisms.


Microtubule Tropism tortifolia1/spiral2 Petiole Helical growth Auxin 



The research was supported by a grant to H.B. by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; BU 2301/2-1) and by the local Sonderforschungsbereich 944 (also DFG). We are also grateful to Sabine Zachgo for ongoing support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

709_2018_1247_MOESM1_ESM.avi (6.9 mb)
Suppl. Movie 1 Lateral light applied to Arabidopsis wild-type rosettes. The sequence starts with vertical light and the light source is then relocated by 90° (up from the appearance of red arrows). Plants were photographed every 5 min and the sequence was assembled into a movie using ImageJ. (AVI 7036 kb)
709_2018_1247_MOESM2_ESM.avi (6.9 mb)
Suppl. Movie 2 Lateral light applied to Arabidopsis tor1 rosettes. The sequence starts with vertical light and the light source is then relocated by 90° (up from the appearance of red arrows). Plants were photographed every 5 min and the sequence was assembled into a movie using ImageJ. (AVI 7036 kb) (AVI 7036 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biology and ChemistryOsnabrück UniversityOsnabrückGermany

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