. Write the Functions of Cytokinins. Explain

Best Answer

Function of cytokinins are:

  • Cell division
  • Cell enlargement
  • Delay in senescence
  • Counteraction of apical dominance
  • Breaking of dormancy

Cell division: Cytokinins are essential for cytokinesis and thus promote cell division. In presence of auxin, cytokinins stimulate cell division even in non-meristematic tissues. In tissue cultures, cell division of callus (undifferentiated mass of parenchyma tissue) is enhanced when both auxin and cytokinin are present. But no response occurs with auxin or cytokinin alone.

Cell enlargement and Differentiation: Under some conditions cytokinins enhance the expansion of leaf cells in leaf discs and cotyledons. These cells considered to be mature and under normal conditions do not expand. Cytokinins play a vital role in morphogenesis and differentiation in plants. It is now known that kinetin-auxin interaction controls the morphogenetic differentiation of shoot and root meristems. 

Delay in senescence: Cytokinin delay the senescence (ageing) of leaves and other organs by controlling protein synthesis and mobilization of resources (Disappearance of chlorophyll). It is called Richmond Lang effect. It was reported by Richmond and Lang (1957) while working on detached leaves of Xanthium.  

Counteraction of apical dominance: Auxins and cytokinins act antagonistically in the control of apical dominance. Auxins are responsible for stimulating growth of apical bud. On the other hand, cytokinins promote the growth of lateral buds. Thus exogenous application of cytokinin has been found to counteract the usual dominance of apical buds.

Breaking of dormancy: Cytokinins breaks seed dormancy of various types and thus help in their germination. They also induce germination of positively photoplastic seed like lettuce and tobacco even in darkness.


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