For centuries, phototropism has given researchers a convenient experimental system to study how light directs plant growth. Yet, despite over a century of research, deciphering how plants reorientate their growth to maximize photosynthetic light capture and promote seedling survival has proved remarkably challenging. In this article, we present a brief historical overview of our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying shoot phototropism in higher plants and discuss recent progress that now provides new insights on where this adaptive growth response is initiated in dicotyledonous seedlings.

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