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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evidence for production of the phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid by cyanobacteria.

The ability of cyanobacteria to produce the phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) was demonstrated. A colorimetric (Salkowski) screening of 34 free-living and symbiotically competent cyanobacteria, that represent all morphotypes from the unicellular to the highly differentiated, showed that auxin-like compounds were released by about 38% of the free-living as compared to 83% of the symbiotic isolates. The endogenous accumulation and release of IAA were confirmed immunologically (ELISA) using an anti-IAA antibody on 10 of the Salkowski-positive strains, and the chemical authenticity of IAA was further verified by chemical characterization using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in Nostoc PCC 9229 (isolated from the angiosperm Gunnera) and in Nostoc 268 (free-living). Addition of the putative IAA precursor tryptophan enhanced IAA accumulation in cell extracts and supernatants. As the genome of the symbiotically competent Nostoc PCC 73102 contains homologues of key enzymes of the indole-3-pyruvic acid pathway, a transaminase and indolepyruvate decarboxylase (IpdC), the putative ipdC gene from this cyanobacterium was cloned and used in Southern blot analysis. Out of 11 cyanobacterial strains responding positively in the Salkowski/ELISA test, ipdC homologues were found in 4. A constitutive and possibly tryptophan-dependent production of IAA via the indole-3-pyruvic acid pathway is therefore suggested. The possible role of IAA in cyanobacteria in general and in their interactions with plants is discussed.[1]


  1. Evidence for production of the phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid by cyanobacteria. Sergeeva, E., Liaimer, A., Bergman, B. Planta (2002) [Pubmed]
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