Recently Discovered Plant Growth Regulators

  • Satish C Bhatla


Salicylic acid is a phenolic plant growth regulator known to regulate various aspects of plant growth and development. It also functions in various ways in modulating biotic and abiotic stress responses. Plants, such as willow tree (Salix sp.) and poplar (Populus sp.), have been used since the fourth century BC to relieve pain in the human body. But it was only in the nineteenth century that salicylic acid (SA) and related compounds such as methyl salicylate, saligenin, and their glycosides were isolated from the bark of willow tree and were found to be analgesic. Oil of wintergreen, extracted from the American plant Gaultheria procumbens, which was widely used as analgesic during the mid-nineteenth century, is also rich in methyl salicylate. SA was chemically synthesized in 1858 in Germany, and it replaced wintergreen oil as an analgesic. The sharp bitter taste and gastric irritation caused by SA, however, did not make it popular for its application as an analgesic. Subsequently, Bayer and Co. (a German pharmaceutical company) produced acetyl derivative of SA, i.e., acetyl salicylic acid, with the trade name Aspirin which became popular as an analgesic since then (Fig. 22.1). In the recent past, action of this phenolic compound, i.e., SA (chemical name: 2-hydroxybenzenecarboxylic acid), has also been discovered in various aspects of plant growth and development and acquisition of disease/wound resistance.


Indoleamines Karrikins Nitric oxide Polyamines Salicylic acid Strigolactones 

Suggested Further Readings

  1. Flematti GR, Waters MT, Scaffidi A, Merritt DJ, Ghisalberti EL, Dixon KW, Smith SM (2013) Karrikin and cyanohydrin smoke signal provide clues to new endogenous plant signaling compounds. Mol Plant 6:29–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Kaur H, Mukherjee S, Bhatla SC (2015) Regulatory roles of serotonin and melatonin in abiotic stress tolerance in plants. Plant Signal Behav 10:1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Liu JH, Wang W, Wu H, Gong X, Moriguchi T (2015) Polyamines function in stress tolerance: from synthesis to regulation. Front Plant Sci 6:1–10Google Scholar
  4. Smith SM (2014) Q&A: what are strigolactones and why are they important to plants and soil microbes? BMC Biol 12:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Vicente MR, Plasencia J (2011) Salicylic acid beyond defence: its role in plant growth and developmental. J Exp Bot 62:3321–3338CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Satish C Bhatla
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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