Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 63, Issue 23, pp 2738–2754

Spatiotemporal asymmetric auxin distribution: a means to coordinate plant development


  • H. Tanaka
    • Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der PflanzenUniversität Tübingen
  • P. Dhonukshe
    • Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der PflanzenUniversität Tübingen
  • P. B. Brewer
    • Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der PflanzenUniversität Tübingen
    • Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der PflanzenUniversität Tübingen

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-006-6116-5

Cite this article as:
Tanaka, H., Dhonukshe, P., Brewer, P.B. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2006) 63: 2738. doi:10.1007/s00018-006-6116-5


The plant hormone auxin plays crucial roles in regulating plant growth development, including embryo and root patterning, organ formation, vascular tissue differentiation and growth responses to environmental stimuli. Asymmetric auxin distribution patterns have been observed within tissues, and these so-called auxin gradients change dynamically during different developmental processes. Most auxin is synthesized in the shoot and distributed directionally throughout the plant. This polar auxin transport is mediated by auxin influx and efflux facilitators, whose subcellular polar localizations guide the direction of auxin flow. The polar localization of PIN auxin efflux carriers changes in response to developmental and external cues in order to channel auxin flow in a regulated manner for organized growth. Auxin itself modulates the expression and subcellular localization of PIN proteins, contributing to a complex pattern of feedback regulation. Here we review the available information mainly from studies of a model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, on the generation of auxin gradients, the regulation of polar auxin transport and further downstream cellular events.


Indoleacetic acidauxin transportpolar protein targetingpatterningtropismArabidopsis
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© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006