Stochastic processes in gravitropism

Yasmine Meroz*, Renaud Bastien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this short review we focus on the role of noise in gravitropism of plants-the reorientation of plants according to the direction of gravity. We briefly introduce the conventional picture of static gravisensing in cells specialized in sensing. This model hinges on the sedimentation of statoliths (high in density and mass relative to other organelles) to the lowest part of the sensing cell. We then present experimental observations that cannot currently be understood within this framework. Lastly we introduce some current alternative models and directions that attempt to incorporate and interpret these experimental observations, including: (i) dynamic sensing, where gravisensing is suggested to be enhanced by stochastic events due to thermal and mechanical noise. These events both effectively lower the threshold of response, and lead to small-distance sedimentation, allowing amplification, and integration of the signal. (ii) The role of the cytoskeleton in signal-to-noise modulation and (iii) in signal transduction. In closing, we discuss directions that seem to either not have been explored, or that are still poorly understood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number674
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Issue numberNOV
StatePublished - 26 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytoskeleton
  • Gradual response
  • Gravitropism
  • Noise
  • Signal amplification
  • Stochastic resonance
  • Stochasticity


Dive into the research topics of 'Stochastic processes in gravitropism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this