Root Hormones and Overground Development

  • Johan Bruinsma
Part of the Nato Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 22)


Many cultural measures in crop production are exerted through the soil. Soil cultivation, fertilization, drainage, and irrigation affect root growth initially and subsequently the development of the overground plant parts. That plants develop into harmonious organisms, with balanced proportions between their various organs, is mainly due to correlative interactions between these organs. Well-developing shoots allow the root system to develop accordingly and vice versa. This is not just a matter of adequate supply of nutrients. Of course, roots need to be supplied with photosynthetic assimilates from the leaves, such as sucrose and vitamins and sometimes amino acids; and the leaves, in turn, feed water, minerals, and amino acids into the shoot. But this is not the whole story. The various correlative effects between organs are mediated by hormonal substances that, by definition, are produced at a particular site and affect one or more developmental processes at another site after translocation. They are the “calines” suggested by Went (1938), produced by one organ and evoking the growth of another plant part. We shall be concerned with what Went called “caulocalines,” root-produced hormonal substances influencing the growth and development of such overground parts as stems, leaves, buds, flowers, and fruits. To these organs they convey effects of soil humidity, aeration, fertilization, man-made chemicals, root nodules, etc. In this way, root hormones play an important role as a link in the chain between cultural measures of the grower and overground crop growth.


Adventitious Root Apical Dominance Cytokinin Content Hedera Helix Root Pruning 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Bruinsma
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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