Just like animals, plants produce hormones. These chemical molecules act as messages from one part of the plant to another. Important plant hormones include:
Auxins are a family of hormones found in plants. Auxins are mostly made in the tips of the shoots and roots, and can diffuse to other parts of the shoots or roots. They change the rate of elongation in plant cells, controlling how long they become.
Shoots and roots respond differently to high concentrations of auxins:
Phototropism is how plant shoots grow towards the light. In a shoot, the shaded side contains more auxin. This means that the shaded side grows longer, causing the shoot to bend towards the light.
Many famous scientists including Charles Darwin (1809-1882) completed experiments like this on phototropism.
|Seedlings||Results and explanation|
|A||The tips have been removed. No auxin is produced and the shoots do not grow longer.|
|B||The tips have been covered so light cannot reach them. Auxin is in the same concentration on both sides of the shoots, so they grow evenly and longer on both sides.|
|C||One side of the tips are in more light than the other side. Auxin is in a greater concentration on the shaded side, causing the cells there to grow longer than the cells on the lit side.|