Journal article Open Access

Why plants need more than one type of auxin

Simon, Sibu; Petrášek, Jan


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    <subfield code="a">The versatile functionality and physiological importance of the phytohormone auxin is a
major focus of attention in contemporary plant science. Recent studies have substantially
contributed to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the physiological
role of auxin in plant development. The mechanism of auxin action includes both fast
responses not involving gene expression, possibly mediated by Auxin Binding Protein 1
(ABP1), and slower responses requiring auxin-regulated gene expression mediated by F-box
proteins. These two mechanisms of action have been described to varying degrees for the
major endogenous auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and for the synthetic auxins 2,4-
dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and naphthalene-1-acetic acid (NAA). However, in
addition to IAA, plants synthesize three other compounds that are commonly regarded as
"endogenous auxins", namely, 4-chloroindole-3-acetic acid (4-Cl-IAA), indole-3-butyric acid
(IBA) and phenylacetic acid (PAA). Although a spectrum of auxinic effects has been
identified for all these as well as several other endogenous compounds, we remain largely
ignorant of many aspects of their mechanisms of action and the extent to which they
contribute to auxin-regulated plant development. Here, we briefly summarize the action of
IBA, 4-Cl-IAA and PAA, and discuss the extent to which their action overlaps with that of
IAA or results from their metabolic conversions to IAA. Other possible pathways for their
action are considered. We present a scheme for homeostatic regulation of IAA levels that
embraces other endogenous auxins in terms of the described mechanism of auxin action
including its receptor and downstream signal transduction events.</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">Petrášek, Jan</subfield>
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    <subfield code="a">10.1016/j.plantsci.2010.12.007</subfield>
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