2020 Volume 37 Issue 4 Pages 485-488
A laser micromarking technique on plant epidermis was developed to study how a plant can reduce the stress in bending behavior by controlling the growth and morphogenesis. The negative gravitropism in a pea seedling (Pisum sativum L.) was discussed based on the time-dependent displacement of laser marking points which were formed by spatially-selective laser ablation of the cuticle layer that covers the outer surface of a plant. The elongation of the stem in the horizontal direction was remarkable in the first half of the gravitropism. The elongation percentages of the stem length between laser-marking points at around upper surface, middle, and bottom surface were evaluated to be 2.57, 4.87, and 7.70%, respectively. The characteristic feature of the stem bending in gravitropism is the elongation even at the upper surface region, that is, inside of the bending. This is a different feature from cantilever beams for structural materials like metals and polymers, where the compression of the upper surface and elongation of the bottom surface are caused by bending. Another laser micromarking technique was developed to improve the resolution of a dot-matrix pattern by fluorescent material transfer to a plant through a masking film with a micro-hole matrix pattern. Similar time-dependent displacement behavior was observed for a fluorescent dot-marked stem showing a feedback control loop in the mechanical optimization. These results suggested that plants solve the problem of the stress in stem bending through growth. The laser micromarking is an effective method for studying the mechanical optimization in plants.