Biochemical analyses of indole-3-acetaldoxime-dependent auxin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Mar 31;106(13):5430-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0811226106. Epub 2009 Mar 11.


Auxins are hormones that regulate many aspects of plant growth and development. The main plant auxin is indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), whose biosynthetic pathway is not fully understood. Indole-3-acetaldoxime (IAOx) has been proposed to be a key intermediate in the synthesis of IAA and several other indolic compounds. Genetic studies of IAA biosynthesis in Arabidopsis have suggested that 2 distinct pathways involving the CYP79B or YUCCA (YUC) genes may contribute to IAOx synthesis and that several pathways are also involved in the conversion of IAOx to IAA. Here we report the biochemical dissection of IAOx biosynthesis and metabolism in plants by analyzing IAA biosynthesis intermediates. We demonstrated that the majority of IAOx is produced by CYP79B genes in Arabidopsis because IAOx production was abolished in CYP79B-deficient mutants. IAOx was not detected from rice, maize, and tobacco, which do not have apparent CYP79B orthologues. IAOx levels were not significantly altered in the yuc1 yuc2 yuc4 yuc6 quadruple mutants, suggesting that the YUC gene family probably does not contribute to IAOx synthesis. We determined the pathway for conversion of IAOx to IAA by identifying 2 likely intermediates, indole-3-acetamide (IAM) and indole-3-acetonitrile (IAN), in Arabidopsis. When (13)C(6)-labeled IAOx was fed to CYP79B-deficient mutants, (13)C(6) atoms were efficiently incorporated to IAM, IAN, and IAA. This biochemical evidence indicates that IAOx-dependent IAA biosynthesis, which involves IAM and IAN as intermediates, is not a common but a species-specific pathway in plants; thus IAA biosynthesis may differ among plant species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Indoles / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Oximes / metabolism*


  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Indoles
  • Oximes
  • indole-3-acetaldoxime
  • indole-3-acetonitrile