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Tracking the Story of Cytokinin Research

Abstract

Existence of compound(s) inducing cell division in excised plant tissues was spotted more than 100 years ago. Since then research of cytokinins (CKs), plant hormones which in cooperation with other phytohormones, namely auxin, control cytokinesis, and a number of other physiological processes in plants, has advanced correspondingly to the progress in other fields of life sciences. This historical overview is focused on major topics of CK research including (1) discovery of CKs, (2) search for natural CKs, (3) role of CKs in transfer RNA, (4) biosynthesis (5) metabolism, (6) signaling of CKs, and (7) molecular probing of the physiological functions of CKs. Some parts of these subjects can already be assessed within the context of an appropriate time span necessary for critical evaluation. I have used this opportunity to present also some personal recollections, namely those of Prof Folke Skoog, in whose laboratory the first CK, kinetin, was discovered.

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Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Prof. DS Letham, Australia, for providing me reprints of his publications and corrections of some parts of the manuscript, to Prof. DJ Armstrong, Oregon State University, Corwallis, Oregon, USA, for critical reading of the manuscript and refining of the English and to Prof. RM Napier, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK for checking the language of the part of the manuscript presenting my personal recollections.

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Correspondence to Miroslav Kamínek.

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Kamínek, M. Tracking the Story of Cytokinin Research. J Plant Growth Regul 34, 723–739 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00344-015-9543-4

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Keywords

  • Cytokinin
  • History
  • Plant hormones
  • t-RNA
  • Cytokinin biosynthesis
  • Cytokinin metabolism