To survive, plants constantly adapt their body shape to their environment. This often involves remarkably rapid bending of their organs such as stems, leaves and roots. Since plant cells are enclosed by stiff cell walls, they use various strategies for bending their organs, which differ from bending mechanisms of soft animal tissues and involve larger physical forces. Here we attempt to summarize and link different viewpoints on bending mechanisms: genes and signalling, mathematical modelling and biomechanics. We argue that quantifying cell growth and physical forces could open a new level in our understanding of bending and resolve some of its paradoxes.
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We apologize to those whose work is not cited due to space limitations. This research was supported by an International Post-doc grant from Vetenskapsrådet (2020-06442) to K.J., a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship grant to Y.M., grants from FRQNT (2021-NC-284190) and NSERC (RGPIN-2018-05762) to A.-L.R.-K., and grants from the Kempe Foundation and Vetenskapsrådet (2016-00504) to R.P.B.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Jonsson, K., Ma, Y., Routier-Kierzkowska, AL. et al. Multiple mechanisms behind plant bending. Nat. Plants 9, 13–21 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-022-01310-y