Gibberellins In Plants

Gibberellins are the plant growth regulators involved in regulating the growth and influencing different developmental processes which include stem elongation, germination, flowering, enzyme induction, etc.


Gibberellins have different effects on plant growth and the stem elongation is the most dramatic amongst all.  The stem starts to grow when it is applied in low concentration to a bush. The internodes become so long that the plants become indistinguishable from climbing. The Gibberellins overcome the genetic limitations in different dwarf varieties.


There are more than 70 gibberellins isolated. They are GA1, GA2, GA3 and so on. The GA3 Gibberellic acid is the most widely studied plant growth regulators.

Role of Gibberellins in plants

Seed Germination

Some seeds that are sensitive to light such as tobacco and lettuce exhibit poor germination in the absence of sunlight. Germination begins rapidly if the seeds are exposed to the sunlight. If the seeds are treated with gibberellic acid, the light requirement can be overcome.

Dormancy of Buds

The buds that are formed in autumn stay dormant until next spring. This dormancy can be overcome by treating them with gibberellin.

Root Growth

Gibberellins have almost no effect on the growth of roots. However, at some inhibition of growth can occur at a higher concentration in a few plants.

Elongation of the Internodes

Internodes elongation is the most pronounced effects of gibberellins on the plant growth. In many plants such as dwarf pea and maize, the genetic dwarfism can be overcome. For example, the dwarf pea plants have expanded leaves and short internodes. But the internodes expand and look like tall plants when treated with gibberellin.

Gibberellins exhibit their impact by altering gene transcription.

The steps of gibberellin functions are mentioned below:

  • The GA enters the cell and binds to a soluble protein receptor.
  • This binds to a protein complex (SCF) that attaches ubiquitin to one or the other DELLA proteins.
  • This activates the destruction of DELLA proteins through proteasomes.
  • The destruction of DELLA proteins releases the inhibition and gene transcription starts.

This procedure is among different cases in biology where the pathway is turned on by inhibiting the pathway. However, most of the proteins that are involved differ according to circumstances, both auxin and gibberellins influence gene expression by a common mechanism of repression relief.

To know more about gibberellins and other plant growth regulators, visit Byju’s.

Practise This Question

Statement 1: Small animals do not lose body heat very fast when it is cold outside.

Statement 2: Small animals have a smaller surface area relative to their volume