|Sztein, A. - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND|
|DE La Fuente, Ines - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND|
|Cooke, Todd - UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND|
Submitted to: American Journal of Botany
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 23, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The plant hormone auxin is important in a variety of important processes in plants. These include fruit ripening, control of wood formation in forest trees, and determining if a plant will be bushy or spindly. In this paper, we looked at the plant hormone auxin in lower plants to see how these processes are controlled. We found that less advanced plants had a less complex system to control the levels of the plant hormones than did more highly evolved plants. These results will be of interest to molecular biologists and biochemists involved in modifying plant hormone metabolism for crop improvement since it, for the first time, clearly identifies control mechanisms that all plants have in common.
Technical Abstract: The plant hormone auxin is important in a variety of important processes in plants. These include control of processes leading to wood quality in forest trees, plant shape in crop plants, and the rate of fruit ripening. We know little, however, about how these control mechanism evolved into the complex system now known to be important in our crop species. In this paper, we have looked at the similarities and differences between several early plants and have found that clear differences in how the levels of auxin are controlled characterize more advanced and earlier forms. These results have important implications for those interested in modification of auxin levels for agricultural plant improvement and directly addresses how the process of macroevolution resulted in the more advanced plants we utilize for our food and forest industries. These results will be of interest to molecular biologists interested in plant improvement, biochemists involved in plant hormone metabolism and biologists interested in the evolution of plant form and structure.