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Curr Biol. 2011 May 10;21(9):R331-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.02.031.

Auxin, self-organisation, and the colonial nature of plants.

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  • 1Sainsbury Laboratory, Cambridge University, Bateman Street, Cambridge CB2 1LR, UK. OL235@cam.ac.uk


Evolution has provided at least two particularly successful independent solutions to the problems of multicellularity - animals and higher plants. An obvious requirement for successful multicellularity is communication between different parts of the organism, both locally, for example between neighbouring cells, and over very long distances. Recent advances in understanding hormone signalling networks in plants are beginning to reveal how co-ordination of activity across the whole plant body can be achieved despite the lack of a control centre, typical of animal systems. Of particular importance in this distributed regulatory approach are the self-organising properties of the transport system for the plant hormone auxin. This review examines the integrative role of the auxin transport network in co-ordinating plant growth and development.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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