Conversion of Indole-3-Butyric Acid to Indole-3-Acetic Acid in Shoot Tissue of Hazelnut (Corylus) and Elm (Ulmus)

Molly Kreiser, Chad Giblin, Ryan Murphy, Paul Fiesel, Lois Braun, Gary Johnson, Donald Wyse, Jerry D. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) is an endogenous compound that appears to regulate both lateral and adventitious root formation in many plant species and is also the auxin most available commercially for application to promote rooting. IBA is converted to indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) by β-oxidation in the peroxisomes. This process has been observed in a number of plant species and has been shown to be critical for normal root development in response to treatment with IBA. In this study, we investigated this process in hybrid hazelnut (Corylus americana × C. avellana), American elm (Ulmus americana), and Cathedral hybrid elm (U. pumila × U. davidiana var. japonica ‘Cathedral’), in which adventitious rooting is a major bottleneck for vegetative propagation, and the efficacy of IBA treatment is highly variable across different cultivars and at different collection times. Using differentially stable isotope-labeled IBA and IAA tracer and internal standard, respectively, and using gas chromatography coupled with selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry, IBA-derived IAA was measured in shoot tissue treated with stable isotope-labeled IBA. In elm, higher levels of IBA-to-IAA conversion were generally observed in cultivars which formed adventitious roots most easily in softwood stem cutting trials. IBA-to-IAA conversion was observed in hazelnut genotypes with different rooting abilities and suggested a complex relationship exists between IBA conversion and root organogenesis. In both hazelnut and elm, endogenous free IAA levels were not significantly different across the genotypes examined. High rates of root formation is a key trait for establishment of large-scale production systems. Screening for optimal rates of IBA-to-IAA conversion may facilitate selection against genotypes which respond poorly to exogenous IBA and are thus difficult to propagate using hormone treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-721
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Plant Growth Regulation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adventitious rooting
  • Corylus americana
  • Indole-3-acetic acid
  • Indole-3-butyric acid
  • Ulmus americana
  • β-Oxidation


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