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Trends Plant Sci. 2009 May;14(5):242-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2009.02.005. Epub 2009 Apr 20.

Auxin-regulated cell polarity: an inside job?

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  • 1Physics Department, Bard College at Simon's Rock, Great Barrington, MA 01230, USA.


Auxin is now known to be a key regulator of polar events in plant cells. The mechanism by which auxin conveys a polar signal to the cell is unknown, but one well-known hypothesis is that the auxin flux across the plasma membrane regulates vesicle trafficking. This hypothesis remains controversial because of its reliance on an as-yet-undiscovered membrane flux sensor. In this article I suggest instead that the polar signal is the auxin gradient within the cell cytoplasm. A computer model of vascular development is presented that demonstrates the plausibility of this scenario. The auxin-binding protein ABP1 might be the receptor for the auxin gradient.

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