University Of Tasmania

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Evolution of growth-promoting plant hormones

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 04:44 authored by John RossJohn Ross, James ReidJames Reid
The plant growth hormones auxin, gibberellins (GAs) and brassinosteroids (BRs) are major determinants of plant growth and development. Recently, key signalling components for these hormones have been identified in vascular plants and, at least for the GAs and BRs, biosynthetic pathways have been clarified. The genome sequencing of a range of species, including a few non-flowering plants, has allowed insight into the evolution of the hormone systems. It appears that the moss Physcomitrella patens can respond to auxin and contains key elements of the auxin signalling pathway, although there is some doubt as to whether it shows a fully developed rapid auxin response. Onthe other hand, P. patens does not show aGAresponse, even though it contains genes for components ofGAsignalling. TheGAresponse system appears to be more advanced in the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii than in P. patens. Signalling systems for BRs probably arose after the evolutionary divergence of the mosses and vascular plants, although detailed information is limited. Certainly, the processes affected by the growth hormones (e.g. GAs) can differ in the different plant groups, and there is evidence that with the evolution of the angiosperms, the hormone systems have become more complex at the gene level. The intermediate nature of mosses in terms of overall hormone biology allows us to speculate about the possible relationship between the evolution of plant growth hormones and the evolution of terrestrial vascular plants in general.


Publication title

Functional Plant Biology










School of Natural Sciences


C S I R O Publishing

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150 Oxford St, Po Box 1139, Collingwood, Australia, Victoria, 3066

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Socio-economic Objectives

Horticultural crops not elsewhere classified

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