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Flavonoids and auxin transport: modulators or regulators?

Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in all vascular and non-vascular plants. Although nonessential for plant growth and development, flavonoids have species-specific roles in nodulation, fertility, defense and UV protection. Flavonoids have been shown to modulate transport of the phytohormone auxin in addition to auxin-dependent tropic responses. However, flavonoids are not essential regulators of these processes because transport and tropic responses occur in their absence. Flavonoids modulate the activity of auxin-transporting P-glycoproteins and seem to modulate the activity of regulatory proteins such as phosphatases and kinases. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that auxin transport mechanisms evolved in the presence of flavonoid compounds produced for the scavenging of reactive oxygen species and defense from herbivores and pathogens.[1]


  1. Flavonoids and auxin transport: modulators or regulators? Peer, W.A., Murphy, A.S. Trends Plant Sci. (2007) [Pubmed]
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