Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 130, Issue 4, pp 765–777 | Cite as

Space–time analysis of gravitropism in etiolated Arabidopsis hypocotyls using bioluminescence imaging of the IAA19 promoter fusion with a destabilized luciferase reporter

  • Kotaro T. Yamamoto
  • Masaaki K. Watahiki
  • Jun Matsuzaki
  • Soichirou Satoh
  • Hisayo Shimizu
Regular Paper


Imaging analysis was carried out during the gravitropic response of etiolated Arabidopsis hypocotyls, using an IAA19 promoter fusion of destabilized luciferase as a probe. From the bright-field images we obtained the local deflection angle to the vertical, A, local curvature, C, and the partial derivative of C with respect to time, \(\partial C/\partial t\). These were determined every 19.9 µm along the curvilinear length of the hypocotyl, at ~10 min intervals over a period of ~6 h after turning hypocotyls through 90° to the horizontal. Similarly from the luminescence images we measured the luminescence intensity of the convex and concave flanks of the hypocotyl as well as along the median of the hypocotyl, to determine differential expression of auxin-inducible IAA19. Comparison of these parameters as a function of time and curvilinear length shows that the gravitropic response is composed of three successive elements: the first and second curving responses and a decurving response (autostraightening). The maximum of the first curving response occurs when A is 76° along the entire length of the hypocotyl, suggesting that A is the sole determinant in this response; in contrast, the decurving response is a function of both A and C, as predicted by the newly-proposed graviproprioception model (Bastien et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 110:755–760, 2013). Further, differential expression of IAA19, with higher expression in the convex flank, is observed at A = 44°, and follows the Sachs’ sine law. This also suggests that IAA19 is not involved in the first curving response. In summary, the gravitropic response of Arabidopsis hypocotyls consists of multiple elements that are each determined by separate principles.


Arabidopsis Auxin Aux/IAA Bioluminescence imaging Gravitropism Hypocotyl 



We would like to thank Ms. M. Ishizuka for technical assistance, and Dr. P. J. Lumsden for discussion and English writing. This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid from Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan to K. T. Y. (19060008).

Supplementary material

10265_2017_932_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (24.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPTX 25437 KB)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kotaro T. Yamamoto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Masaaki K. Watahiki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jun Matsuzaki
    • 1
    • 3
  • Soichirou Satoh
    • 1
    • 4
  • Hisayo Shimizu
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Biosystems Science Course, Graduate School of Life ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Center for Sustainable Resource ScienceRIKENYokohamaJapan
  4. 4.Graduate School of Life and Environmental SciencesKyoto Prefecture UniversityKyotoJapan

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