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Trends Plant Sci. 2002 Feb;7(2):78-83.

Peptides: new signalling molecules in plants.

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The Integrative Cell Biology Laboratory, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Durham, South Road, Durham, UK DH1 3LE.


For many years, our insight into intercellular signalling in plants was based upon our knowledge of the so-called five classical plant hormones--auxin, cytokinin, ethylene, gibberellin and abscisic acid. However, biochemical and genetic studies have identified peptides that play crucial roles in plant growth and development, including defence mechanisms in response to wounding by pests, the control of cell division and expansion, and pollen self-incompatibility. Genome sequencing has revealed many predicted peptide-encoding genes and possible receptors, and a major challenge of the post-genomics era is to determine the function of these molecules.

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