Sugar and hormone connections

Trends Plant Sci. 2003 Mar;8(3):110-6. doi: 10.1016/S1360-1385(03)00011-6.


Sugars modulate many vital processes that are also controlled by hormones during plant growth and development. Characterization of sugar-signalling mutants in Arabidopsis has unravelled a complex signalling network that links sugar responses to two plant stress hormones--abscisic acid and ethylene--in opposite ways. Recent molecular analyses have revealed direct, extensive glucose control of abscisic acid biosynthesis and signalling genes that partially antagonizes ethylene signalling during seedling development under light. Glucose and abscisic acid promote growth at low concentrations but act synergistically to inhibit growth at high concentrations. The effects of sugar and osmotic stress on morphogenesis and gene expression are distinct. The plasticity of plant growth and development are exemplified by the complex interplay of sugar and hormone signalling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / biosynthesis
  • Arabidopsis / drug effects
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Ethylenes / biosynthesis
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Mutation
  • Osmotic Pressure / drug effects
  • Plant Growth Regulators / biosynthesis*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Carbohydrates
  • Ethylenes
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Abscisic Acid
  • ethylene
  • Glucose