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Trends Plant Sci. 2007 Dec;12(12):541-7. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Plant evolution: AGC kinases tell the auxin tale.

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Leiden University, Institute of Biology, Molecular and Developmental Genetics, Clusius Laboratory, Wassenaarseweg 64, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands.


The signaling molecule auxin is a central regulator of plant development, which instructs tissue and organ patterning, and couples environmental stimuli to developmental responses. Here, we discuss the function of PINOID (PID) and the phototropins, members of the plant specific AGCVIII protein kinases, and their role in triggering and regulating development by controlling PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin transporter-generated auxin gradients and maxima. We propose that the AGCVIII kinase gene family evolved from an ancestral phototropin gene, and that the co-evolution of PID-like and PIN gene families marks the transition of plants from water to land. We hypothesize that the PID-like kinases function in parallel to, or downstream of, the phototropins to orient plant development by establishing the direction of polar auxin transport.

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