, Volume 218, Issue 6, pp 1054–1061 | Cite as

Graviperception in growth inhibition of plant shoots under hypergravity conditions produced by centrifugation is independent of that in gravitropism and may involve mechanoreceptors

  • Kouichi SogaEmail author
  • Kazuyuki Wakabayashi
  • Seiichiro Kamisaka
  • Takayuki Hoson
Original Article


Hypergravity caused by centrifugation inhibits elongation growth of shoots by decreasing the cell wall extensibility via suppression of xyloglucan breakdown as well as by the thickening of cell walls. The mechanism of graviperception in hypergravity-induced growth inhibition was investigated in Arabidopsis [A. thaliana (L.) Heynh.] hypocotyls and azuki bean (Vigna angularis Ohwi et Ohashi) epicotyls. Hypergravity caused growth suppression in both sgr1-1 and pgm1, which are Arabidopsis mutants deprived of gravitropism, as in wild-type plants, suggesting that the graviperception in hypergravity-induced growth inhibition of shoots is independent of that in gravitropism. Hypergravity had no effects on growth of azuki bean epicotyls or Arabidopsis hypocotyls in the presence of lanthanum or gadolinium, which are blockers of mechanoreceptors. Moreover, lanthanum or gadolinium at the same concentration had no influence on gravitropism of azuki bean epicotyls and Arabidopsis hypocotyls. Hypergravity had no effects on cell wall extensibility and affected neither xyloglucan metabolism nor the thickness of cell walls in the lanthanum- or gadolinium-treated azuki bean epicotyls. Lanthanum or gadolinium inhibited the hypergravity-induced increase in the pH of the apoplastic fluid in the epicotyls, which is involved in the processes of the suppression of xyloglucan breakdown due to hypergravity. These findings suggest that plants perceive the hypergravity stimuli by mechanoreceptors in the plasma membrane, and utilize the perceived signal to regulate the growth rate of their shoots.


Arabidopsis Graviperception Growth inhibition Hypergravity Mechanoreceptor Vigna 








We thank Professor Emeritus Yoshio Masuda of Osaka City University for invaluable suggestions and discussions, Professor John Z. Kiss of Miami University for providing the pgm1 mutant, and Professor Masao Tasaka and Dr. Hidehiro Fukaki of Nara Institute of Science and Technology for providing the sgr1-1 mutant. The present study was supported in part by a Grant for Ground Research for Space Utilization from the Japan Space Forum.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kouichi Soga
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazuyuki Wakabayashi
    • 1
  • Seiichiro Kamisaka
    • 2
  • Takayuki Hoson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceOsaka City UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceToyama UniversityToyamaJapan

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