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Plant Hormones: Biosynthesis, Signal Transduction, Action!. ,

N2 - One of the many challenges in plant hormone research is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of hormone action. The current working model for the auxin signal transduction pathway is based largely on hormone response pathways described in other systems. In this general model, the pathway is activated when receptive cells perceive auxin. Receptors at the cell surface and/or within the cell are thought to recognize and bind auxin with specificity and high affinity. Receptor binding would then trigger a series of biochemical and molecular events that would ultimately lead to observable physiological growth responses, such as cell elongation, division and/or differentiation. Over the past decade, there have been major advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing auxin action, through the identification of several key regulatory components of the pathway.

One of the many challenges in plant hormone research is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of hormone action. The current working model for the auxin signal transduction pathway is based largely on hormone response pathways described in other systems. In this general model, the pathway is activated when receptive cells perceive auxin. Receptors at the cell surface and/or within the cell are thought to recognize and bind auxin with specificity and high affinity. Receptor binding would then trigger a series of biochemical and molecular events that would ultimately lead to observable physiological growth responses, such as cell elongation, division and/or differentiation. Over the past decade, there have been major advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing auxin action, through the identification of several key regulatory components of the pathway.

Davis: Plant Hormones: Biosynthesis, Signal Transduction, Action!

Plant hormones : biosynthesis, signal transduction, action…

My group is employing tomato as a model plant. When tomato plants are attacked by chewing insects such as caterpillars, signals derived from these insects and the wounded plant are generated that can be perceived by plant cells. One of these wound signals is a small plant peptide called systemin which is thought to be processed from a precursor protein, called prosystemin. By binding to a membrane-bound receptor, systemin initiates an intracellular signal transduction pathway that relays and amplifies the wound signal leading to the activation of defense genes 1. Many plant defense genes encode antinutritive proteins such as proteinase inhibitors and enzymes that break down essential amino acids. When ingested, these proteins cause adverse effects on growth and development of the attacking insects by preventing uptake of essential amino acids in the insect gut 2. In addition, systemin activates indirect plant defenses through the release of volatile compounds 3,4. These volatiles are also released when plants are attacked by herbivorous insects and function as a ‘cry for help’. They serve as cues for predators or parasitoids which home in on the source of these volatiles to locate the herbivore and destroy it. An important signaling molecule synthesized in response to systemin and other wound signals is jasmonic acid. This plant hormone acts not only as a second messenger within the cells, but also as a long-distance signal that moves within the plant to distant leaves where it induces the wound response5.

AB - One of the many challenges in plant hormone research is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of hormone action. The current working model for the auxin signal transduction pathway is based largely on hormone response pathways described in other systems. In this general model, the pathway is activated when receptive cells perceive auxin. Receptors at the cell surface and/or within the cell are thought to recognize and bind auxin with specificity and high affinity. Receptor binding would then trigger a series of biochemical and molecular events that would ultimately lead to observable physiological growth responses, such as cell elongation, division and/or differentiation. Over the past decade, there have been major advances in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms governing auxin action, through the identification of several key regulatory components of the pathway.

Plant Hormones: Biosynthesis, Signal Transduction, Action …

Since their discovery, gibberellin (GA) diterpenoid phytohormones have been used by agriculturalists and horticulturalists to control plant growth and to improve yield quantity and quality. Coordinated breeding efforts after World War II have led to strong yield increases following the introduction of dwarfing alleles that impair GA signalling in wheat and GA biosynthesis in rice, later named the ‘Green Revolution’. In the last two decades, the identity of the basic components of the GA signal transduction pathway has been elucidated. Core to GA action is the regulation of DELLA protein levels, repressors that control plant growth by negatively interfering mainly, but as it emerges not exclusively, with transcription regulator activities. Here, the author summarises the current knowledge of GA signal transduction, thereby putting an emphasis on the crosstalk of GA signalling with the light and jasmonic acid signalling pathways and with microtubule organisation.

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