Novel auxin transport inhibitors phenocopy the auxin influx carrier mutation aux1

Plant J. 2001 Feb;25(4):399-406. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.2001.00970.x.


The hormone auxin is transported in plants through the combined actions of diffusion and specific auxin influx and efflux carriers. In contrast to auxin efflux, for which there are well documented inhibitors, understanding the developmental roles of carrier-mediated auxin influx has been hampered by the absence of specific competitive inhibitors. However, several molecules that inhibit auxin influx in cultured cells have been described recently. The physiological effects of two of these novel influx carrier inhibitors, 1-naphthoxyacetic acid (1-NOA) and 3-chloro-4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid (CHPAA), have been investigated in intact seedlings and tissue segments using classical and new auxin transport bioassays. Both molecules do disrupt root gravitropism, which is a developmental process requiring rapid auxin redistribution. Furthermore, the auxin-insensitive and agravitropic root-growth characteristics of aux1 plants were phenocopied by 1-NOA and CHPAA. Similarly, the agravitropic phenotype of inhibitor-treated seedlings was rescued by the auxin 1-naphthaleneacetic acid, but not by 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, again resembling the relative abilities of these two auxins to rescue the phenotype of aux1. Further investigations have shown that none of these compounds block polar auxin transport, and that CHPAA exhibits some auxin-like activity at high concentrations. Whilst results indicate that 1-NOA and CHPAA represent useful tools for physiological studies addressing the role of auxin influx in planta, 1-NOA is likely to prove the more useful of the two compounds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Biological Transport
  • Glycolates / pharmacology*
  • Gravitropism
  • Indoleacetic Acids / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Phenylacetates / pharmacology*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development


  • AUX1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Glycolates
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Phenylacetates
  • Plant Proteins
  • 3-chloro-4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid
  • 1-naphthoxyacetic acid