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Ann Bot. 2003 May;91(6):605-12.

Cross-talk in plant hormone signalling: what Arabidopsis mutants are telling us.

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Department of Botany, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3B2.


Genetic screens have been extremely useful in identifying genes involved in hormone signal transduction. However, although these screens were originally designed to identify specific components involved in early hormone signalling, mutations in these genes often confer changes in sensitivity to more than one hormone at the whole-plant level. Moreover, a variety of hormone response genes has been identified through screens that were originally designed to uncover regulators of sugar metabolism. Together, these facts indicate that the linear representation of the hormone signalling pathways controlling a specific aspect of plant growth and development is not sufficient, and that hormones interact with each other and with a variety of developmental and metabolic signals. Following the advent of arabidopsis molecular genetics we are beginning to understand some of the mechanisms by which a hormone is transduced into a cellular response. In this Botanical Briefing we review a subset of genes in arabidopsis that influence hormonal cross-talk, with emphasis on the gibberellin, abscisic acid and ethylene pathways. In some cases it appears that modulation of hormone sensitivity can cause changes in the synthesis of an unrelated hormone, while in other cases a hormone response gene defines a node of interaction between two response pathways. It also appears that a variety of hormones may converge to regulate the turnover of important regulators involved in growth and development. Examples are cited of the recent use of suppressor and enhancer analysis to identify new nodes of interaction between these pathways.

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