, Volume 227, Issue 5, pp 929-941
Date: 26 Feb 2008

Auxin dynamics: the dazzling complexity of a small molecule’s message

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Abstract

The phytohormone auxin is a potent regulator of plant development. Since its discovery in the beginning of the twentieth century many aspects of auxin biology have been extensively studied, ranging from biosynthesis and metabolism to the elucidation of molecular components of downstream signaling. With the identification of the F-box protein TIR1 as an auxin receptor a major breakthrough in understanding auxin signaling has been achieved and recent modeling approaches have shed light on the putative mechanisms underlying the establishment of auxin gradients and maxima essential for many auxin-regulated processes. Here, we review these and other recent advances in unraveling the entanglement of biosynthesis, polar transport and cellular signaling events that allow small auxinic molecules to facilitate their complex regulatory action.