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Phytochemistry. 2009 May;70(8):957-69. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.05.006. Epub 2009 Jun 12.

Conjugates of auxin and cytokinin.

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University of Bialystok, Institute of Biology, Swierkowa 20 B, 15-950 Bialystok, Poland.


Plant growth and developmental processes as well as environmental responses require the action and cross talk of phytohormones including auxins and cytokinins. Active phytohormones are changed into multiple forms by acylation, esterification or glycosylation, for example. It seems that conjugated compounds could serve as pool of inactive phytohormones that can be converted to active forms by de-conjugation reactions. The concept of reversible conjugation of auxins and cytokinins suggests that under changeable environmental, developmental or physiological conditions these compounds can be a source of free hormones. Phytohormones metabolism may result in a loss of activity and decrease the size of the bioactive pool. All metabolic steps are in principle irreversible, except for some processes such as the formation of ester, glucoside and amide conjugates, where the free compound can be liberated by enzymatic hydrolysis. The role, chemistry, synthesis and hydrolysis of conjugated forms of two classes of plant hormones are discussed.

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