Identification and quantification of three active auxins in different tissues of Tropaeolum majus

Jutta Ludwig-Müller, Jerry D. Cohen

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Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and phenylacetic acid (PAA) were identified as endogenous compounds with auxin activity in nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus L.) by full scan gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The endogenous concentrations of the three auxins were measured by GC-selected ion monitoring-MS and isotope dilution analysis using stable labelled isotopes. PAA was present at concentrations about 10- to 100-fold lower than IAA, whereas IBA was found to be in the same concentration range as IAA. Free IAA was highest in roots followed by young leaves. IBA was also highest in the roots, and relatively high concentrations were found in young leaves and flowers. The distribution of PAA was quite different from that found for IBA. No PAA could be detected in young leaves and flowers, and in all other tissues studied the concentrations were well below those of the other two auxin compounds. The presence of a nitrilase gene family and nitrilase activity in extracts from T. majus suggests that PAA might be synthesized by the nitrilase pathway using benzylglucosinolate as precursor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-329
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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