Mammalian Neurotransmitter Are Important Signals Mediating Plant Morphogenesis

  • Lauren Alexandra Elizabeth Erland
  • Praveen K. SaxenaEmail author


In spite of their lack of central organized nervous system, plants possess many of the same signaling compounds which are employed in the mammalian nervous system and commonly referred to as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators. These include classes such as the indoleamines, melatonin and serotonin, and the catecholamines, dopamine, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and acetylcholine. These compounds, since their discoveries in plants, have been found to play important and diverse roles in plant life, including organogenesis, growth and development, flowering and reproduction, sensing environmental cues, and survival against a myriad of environmental stresses. This chapter will provide an overview of the roles these compounds play in plant life, and the mechanisms by which these compounds serve to mediate and direct growth, reproduction, and morphogenesis in plants and the as yet unidentified receptors for these compounds.


Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) Indoleamines Melatonin Neurotransmitters Phytohormones Plant morphogenesis Serotonin Signaling molecules 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of this work by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada (grant number 46741).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren Alexandra Elizabeth Erland
    • 1
  • Praveen K. Saxena
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Plant AgricultureGosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation, University of GuelphGuelphCanada

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