, Volume 182, Issue 3, pp 427–431 | Cite as

Biophysical basis of growth promotion in primary leaves ofPhaseolus vulgaris L. by hormones versus light

Solute accumulation and the growth potential
  • Thomas G. Brock
  • Robert E. Cleland


Rapid cell enlargement in primary leaves of bean is induced by bright white light (WL), gibberellic acid (GA3) or the cytokinin N6-benzyladenine (BA). In previous studies it has been shown that all three agents cause an increase in wall extensibility, although by different mechanisms. Here we examine the effects of the three growth promoters on the osmotic potential difference (ΔΨ), the accumulation of solutes (ΔTSC), the wall yield threshold (Y) and the growth potential (ΔΨ−Y). With GA3 and BA, but not WL, there was a rapid decline in ΔΨ as measured by the osmotic concentration of expressed sap. Unlike WL, neither GA3 nor BA promoted the accumulation of osmotic solutes. The decline in ΔΨ, however, was apparently counteracted by a decline in Y since the growth potential, as measured by the external-osmoticum method, remained unchanged. It is concluded that WL, GA3 and BA all promote cell enlargement of bean leaves by increasing one cellular growth parameter, wall extensibility. Only WL, however, promotes osmotic adjustment during growth.

Key words

Cytokinin and leaf growth Gibberellin and leaf growth Leaf growth Light and leaf growth Osmotic concentration and leaf growth Phaseolus (leaf growth) 

Abbreviations and symbols




gibberellic acid


growth potential


growth coefficient


hydraulic conductivity


wall extensibility


osmotic concentration


osmotic potential


turgor pressure


red light


total solute content




white light


yield threshold


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas G. Brock
    • 1
  • Robert E. Cleland
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human GeneticsUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of BotanyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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