A Fertile Field: The Mutual Influence and Parallel Histories of Auxin and Flavonoids

  • Elinor ThompsonEmail author
Part of the Signaling and Communication in Plants book series (SIGCOMM, volume 17)


Auxin is notable for its influence on almost every aspect of plant growth and development. Its effects are so familiar but they continue to pose questions, features that are mirrored by the flavonoids. Although these secondary metabolites’ biosynthesis is one of the best studied of all pathways, their functions are so broad as to be perplexing. The ubiquity of flavonoids in fruit and flowers and the appearance of anthocyanins in the plant stress response often make these pigments’ presence obvious. Their effects, however, extend beyond these visible roles to communication with other organisms and to auxin transport inhibition. Decades of study have shown that they are capable of altering auxin flow in the root, and inflorescence phenotypes of flavonoid mutants suggest a perturbation of development that could also be related to altered auxin distribution in aerial tissues. A compound that is able to regulate such an important hormone as auxin might be expected to have an enormous impact in the plant, and now quite a body of evidence has accumulated to support this hypothesis—but there remain, nevertheless, questions over its relevance in “real-life” plant growth.


Auxin Transport Auxin Response Factor Polar Auxin Transport Flavonoid Pathway Root Gall 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ScienceUniversity of GreenwichChatham MaritimeUK

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