Local light signaling at the leaf tip drives remote differential petiole growth through auxin-gibberellin dynamics

J.J. Küpers, L.B. Snoek, Lisa Oskam, Chrysoula Pantazopoulou, Sanne Matton, Emilie Reinen, C.Y. Liao, E.D.C. Eggermont, Harold Weekamp, Muthanna Biddanda-Devaiah, W. Kohlen, D. Weijers, Ronald Pierik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although plants are immobile, many of their organs are flexible to move in response to environmental cues. In dense vegetation, plants detect neighbors through far-red light perception with their leaf tip. They respond remotely, with asymmetrical growth between the abaxial and adaxial sides of the leafstalk, the petiole. This results in upward movement that brings the leaf blades into better lit zones of the canopy. The plant hormone auxin is required for this response, but it is not understood how non-differential leaf tip-derived auxin can remotely regulate movement. Here, we show that remote signaling of far-red light promotes auxin accumulation in the abaxial petiole. This local auxin accumulation is facilitated by reinforcing an intrinsic directionality of the auxin transport protein PIN3 on the petiole endodermis, as visualized with a PIN3-GFP line. Using an auxin biosensor, we show that auxin accumulates in all cell layers from endodermis to epidermis in the abaxial petiole, upon far-red light signaling in the remote leaf tip. In the petiole, auxin elicits a response to both auxin itself as well as a second growth promoter; gibberellin. We show that this dual regulation is necessary for hyponastic leaf movement in response to light. Our data indicate that gibberellin is required to permit cell growth, whereas differential auxin accumulation determines which cells can grow. Our results reveal how plants can spatially relay information about neighbor proximity from their sensory leaf tips to the petiole base, thus driving adaptive growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-85.E5
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2023


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