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ZingPath: Plant Structure and Function

Thigmotropism in Plants

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Plant Structure and Function

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Thigmotropism in Plants


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You will discover and learn new details about the world plants. Familiarize yourself with the significant parts of plants, and what they do. Experiment on coleoptiles to discover how plants grow toward light, and test your knowledge of plant physiology by designing an award-winning xeroscape garden.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define thigmotropism in plants.
  • Explain how thigmotropic response occurs in a plant.
  • Explain the advantages of thigmotropism in plants.
  • Give examples of plants that show thigmotropism.

Everything You'll Have Covered

How does the process of thigmotropism begin?

~ Following germination, the tips of the plant begin to grow. When they break through the surface of the soil, the tips start to move in a circular motion. The process of thigmotropism begins when the moving plant tips come into contact with a surface of some kind.

How does a plant begin to cling to a surface?

~ After certain plants make contact with a surface, physical contact with the object causes pressure changes. These pressure changes are perceived by the cells of the plant's surface. As the plant grows, these cells grow more slowly than the other cells. This causes the plant to track the contours of the surface and wrap around it, so the plant eventually clings to the object it is touching.

What is the purpose of thigmotropism?

~ Thigmotropism allows plants to find a supportive structure around them. Also, it helps them to reach places that will afford them better access to sunlight, a vital resource for all plant life.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be able to define ivy, thigmotropism, and vines.
Course Biology
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary ivy, thigmotropism, vines