Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 121–132

Hormones andCuscuta development: interaction of cytokinin and indole-3-acetic acid in the growth and curvature of subapical stem segments


  • I. Rajagopal
    • Department of BiochemistryIndian Institute of Science
  • T. S. Ramasubramanian
    • Department of BiochemistryIndian Institute of Science
  • G. Paliyath
    • Department of BiochemistryIndian Institute of Science
  • S. Mahadevan
    • Department of BiochemistryIndian Institute of Science

DOI: 10.1007/BF02025381

Cite this article as:
Rajagopal, I., Ramasubramanian, T.S., Paliyath, G. et al. J Plant Growth Regul (1988) 7: 121. doi:10.1007/BF02025381


Cuscuta stem (vines) exhibits two modes of growth—longitudinal elongation forming free-hanging vines, or coiling growth to twine around the host. The elongation zone of free-hanging vine extended up to 160 mm from the stem apex and in vivo growth rate (during 8 h of growth) was maximal in the 20-to-40-mm region. While gibberellic acid (GA3) or fusicoccin (FC) could maintain (GA3) or enhance (FC) the growth rate of apical (10 or 25 mm) segments, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) (10 μM) induced growth only in subapical (5–160 mm) segments. In vitro growth rate induced by IAA (10 μM) was similar to the in vivo growth rate up to 40 mm. Thereafter, up to 100 mm, IAA induced growth rate exceeded in vivo growth. p ]Subapical segments (∼13 mm) from 5- to 40-mm regions responded to a cytokinin (BA, Z, or iP) or to low IAA (0.1 μM) with curved growth, whereas the segments grew straight in the presence of high IAA (10 μM). Curvature (measured as the angle subtended at the center of the circle of which the segment formed an arc) induced by BA and low (0.1 μM) IAA was greater than either added separately. Besides, segments induced to curve in BA + low-IAA solution could be made to straighten out by transferring to a solution containing high IAA (10 μM) with or without BA. Thus in vivo patterns of straight and coiling growth could be mimicked reversibly in vitro by adjusting the relative concentrations of cytokinin and auxin; low auxin and cytokinin induced coiling growth, whereas high auxin and cytokinin induced straight growth. p ]Beyond 40 mm, BA had no growth-promoting or curvative-inducing effect.Cuscuta vine segments thus showed sequential sensitivity to applied hormones, the apical region (0–25 mm) to GA3, the subapical (5–40 mm) region to BA and IAA and the region beyond (40–160 mm) to IAA alone.

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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1988