A quantitative model for spatio-Temporal dynamics of root gravitropism

Amir Porat, Mathieu Rivière, Yasmine Meroz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plant organs adapt their morphology according to environmental signals through growth-driven processes called tropisms. While much effort has been directed towards the development of mathematical models describing the tropic dynamics of aerial organs, these cannot provide a good description of roots due to intrinsic physiological differences. Here we present a mathematical model informed by gravitropic experiments on Arabidopsis thaliana roots, assuming a subapical growth profile and apical sensing. The model quantitatively recovers the full spatio-Temporal dynamics observed in experiments. An analytical solution of the model enables us to evaluate the gravitropic and proprioceptive sensitivities of roots, while also allowing us to corroborate the requirement for proprioception in describing root dynamics. Lastly, we find that the dynamics are analogous to a damped harmonic oscillator, providing intuition regarding the source of the observed oscillatory behavior and the importance of proprioception for efficient gravitropic control. In all, the model provides not only a quantitative description of root tropic dynamics, but also a mathematical framework for the future investigation of roots in complex media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-630
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2024


FundersFunder number
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme824074
Israel Science Foundation1981/14


    • Curvature
    • dynamics
    • experiment
    • gravitropism
    • mathematical model
    • root
    • spatiotemporal
    • tropism


    Dive into the research topics of 'A quantitative model for spatio-Temporal dynamics of root gravitropism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this