The dynamic, differential distribution of the hormone auxin within plant tissues controls an impressive variety of developmental processes, which tailor plant growth and morphology to environmental conditions. Various environmental and endogenous signals can be integrated into changes in auxin distribution through their effects on local auxin biosynthesis and intercellular auxin transport. Individual cells interpret auxin largely by a nuclear signaling pathway that involves the F box protein TIR1 acting as an auxin receptor. Auxin-dependent TIR1 activity leads to ubiquitination-based degradation of transcriptional repressors and complex transcriptional reprogramming. Thus, auxin appears to be a versatile trigger of preprogrammed developmental changes in plant cells.