Regulating the regulator: the control of auxin transport

Bioessays. 2005 Dec;27(12):1246-55. doi: 10.1002/bies.20322.


With the discovery of the phytohormone auxin in the late 1920s, it became possible to link the regulation of complex plant growth responses to a single biologically active compound. Among all the plant growth regulators characterised so far, only auxin appears to be actively transported throughout the plant to create complex variations in concentration patterns and flow directions over time. This stimulated interest in the specific mechanisms underlying auxin transport as key factors in plant growth responses. Research in the last decade revealed several genes involved in the controlled transport of auxin and greatly improved our understanding of the basic principles of auxin-mediated responses. We are at this point, however, only starting to understand the complex interplay and control of factors that ultimately underlie the observed spatiotemporal variations in auxin transport and thus mediate plant growth and environmental responses. This review highlights important findings that provide us with a framework of molecular players and potential regulatory mechanisms that should contribute to the formulation of a comprehensive dynamic model of spatiotemporal auxin distribution.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Environment
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism*


  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Plant Growth Regulators