How do plants move?


They can bend and twist to reach the sunlight…without muscles ?

In: Biology

They literally grow in that direction, adding more cells on the shady/downhill side than on the sunny/uphill side in order to curve towards the light. It’s a permanent deformation of their body.

The other way plants move, like for venus fly traps, is with hydrolic pressure. They force water into specially made cells in response to a electrochemical trigger to cause them to expand, curving that part of the plant.

There is a chemical called auxin which is destroyed by sunlight and the lack of this chemical inhibits growth on that side causing the plant to bend towards the sunlight, this is one of the reasons why you can put germinating seeds in a dark room as it will make the seeds grow rapidly as there is no light to destroy the auxin so the plant grows very quickly.

Most plants don’t *move* per se. Instead, they *permanently alter their structure* (**tropism**) in an attempt to lean closer to light sources. This can be exploited to grow plants that spell letters or represent lines in an image.

**Rapid plant movement**, which is true and reversible movement *per se*, occurs in only a very small number of plants and is not fully understood:

* The venus flytrap snaps its “jaws” shut in about 1/10 of a second if two separate tickles are given to the trigger hairs within the jaws.
* *Mimosa pudica*’s leaves close when you touch them, opening back up a few minutes later. They also close in darkness and open back up in light.
* The white mulberry (*Morus alba*) has built-in slingshots that shoot pollen at about 350 mph / 560 km/h, which is around half the speed of sound.

in addition to the previous answers, plants can move by pumping ions (specifically potassium ions) into some of their tissues. This forces water into the tissues with extra potassium which changes the pressure of the tissue and makes plants bend! That’s how plants can track the sun and open and close their petals. If you want to research further, the tissue involved is called pulvinus.