The Cholodny-Went theory does not explain hydrotropism

Doron Shkolnik, Hillel Fromm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Optimization of water foraging by plants is partially achieved by the ability of roots to direct growth towards high water potential, a phenomenon termed hydrotropism. In contrast to gravitropism and phototropism, which require auxin redistribution, as suggested by the Cholodny-Went theory, hydrotropism is not mediated by the phytohormone auxin, which raises questions about the mechanism underlying this tropic response. Here we specify the open questions in this field of research and discuss the possible interactions of abscisic acid, calcium and reactive oxygen species as part of a dynamic system of sensing water potential in the root tip, transmission of the signal to the root elongation zone and promoting root curvature towards water. We conclude that root hydrotropism is mediated by inter-cellular signals that are not explained by the Cholodny-Went theory.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)400-403
Number of pages4
JournalPlant Science
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd


  • Abscisic acid (ABA)
  • Reactive oxygen species (ROS)
  • Tropisms
  • Water potential


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