Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been exploring why scientists seem to publish so many studies on one particular topic (you can find previous comics about this here and here). I mentioned that differing research methodologies could lead to differing conclusions, which adds to the growing number of papers published. In today’s comic, I’ll be focusing on a recent article that illustrates this issue pretty well (“Comparative Analysis of Arabidopsis Ecotypes Reveals a Role for Brassinosteroids in Root Hydrotropism”). They studied a process called root hydrotropism — but how do they do that? And could their approach put their findings in conflict with previous studies?
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Dietrich D (2018) Hydrotropism: how roots search for water. J Exp Bot, doi:10.1093/jxb/ery034
Jaffe M et al. (1985) A Pea Mutant for the Study of Hydrotropism in Roots. Science 230: 445-445.
Miao R et al. (2018) Comparative Analysis of Arabidopsis Ecotypes Reveals a Role for Brassinosteroids in Root Hydrotropism. Plant Physiol 176: 2720-2736
Morohashi K et al. (2017) Gravitropism interferes with hydrotropism via counteracting auxin dynamics in cucumber roots: clinorotation and spaceflight experiments. New Phytol 215: 1476-1489
Saucedo M et al. (2012) An altered hydrotropic response (ahr1) mutant of Arabidopsis recovers root hydrotropism with cytokinin. J Exp Bot 63: 3587-3602
Salazar-Blas A et al. (2017) Robust root growth in altered hydrotropic response1 (ahr1) mutant of Arabidopsis is maintained by high rate of cell production at low water potential gradient. J Plant Physiol 208: 102-114
For further reading:
Full text of Darwin and Darwin’s “The Power of Movement in Plants” from the free ebook repository, Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/5605