The roles of auxin in seed dormancy and germination

Yi Chuan. 2016 Apr;38(4):314-22. doi: 10.16288/j.yczz.15-464.


Seed dormancy and germination are attractive topics in the fields of plant molecular biology as they are key stages during plant growth and development. Seed dormancy is intricately regulated by complex networks of phytohormones and numerous key genes, combined with diverse environmental cues. The transition from dormancy to germination is a very important biological process, and extensive studies have demonstrated that phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin acid (GA) are major determinants. Consequently, the precise balance between ABA and GA can ensure that the seeds remain dormant under stress conditions and germinate at optimal times. Here we review the role of auxin in seed dormancy and germination. Auxin is one of the classic phytohormones effective during tropism growth and tissue differentiation. Recent studies, however, show that auxin possesses positive effects on seed dormancy, which suggests that auxin is the second phytohormone that induces seed dormancy, besides ABA. We will focus on the synthetic effects in detail between auxin and ABA pathways on seed dormancy and propose future research directions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Germination / physiology*
  • Gibberellins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Plant Dormancy / physiology*


  • Gibberellins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Abscisic Acid