Helical growth during the phototropic response, avoidance response, and in stiff mutants of Phycomyces blakesleeanus Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractThe sporangiophores of Phycomyces blakesleeanus have been used as a model system to study sensory transduction, helical growth, and to establish global biophysical equations for expansive growth of walled cells. More recently, local statistical biophysical models of the cell wall are being constructed to better understand the molecular underpinnings of helical growth and its behavior during the many growth responses of the sporangiophores to sensory stimuli. Previous experimental and theoretical findings guide the development of these local models. Future development requires an investigation of explicit and implicit assumptions made in the prior research. Here, experiments are conducted to test three assumptions made in prior research, that (a) elongation rate, (b) rotation rate, and (c) helical growth steepness, R, of the sporangiophore remain constant during the phototropic response (bending toward unilateral light) and the avoidance response (bending away from solid barriers). The experimental results reveal that all three assumptions are incorrect for the phototropic response and probably incorrect for the avoidance response but the results are less conclusive. Generally, the experimental results indicate that the elongation and rotation rates increase during these responses, as does R, indicating that the helical growth steepness become flatter. The implications of these findings on prior research, the “fibril reorientation and slippage” hypothesis, global biophysical equations, and local statistical biophysical models are discussed.;

publication date

  • December 1, 2021

has restriction

  • gold

Date in CU Experts

  • February 10, 2022 8:54 AM

Full Author List

  • Ortega JKE; Mohan RP; Munoz CM; Sridhar SL; Vernerey FJ

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2045-2322

Additional Document Info


  • 11


  • 1


  • 3653