Brassinosteroids, the Sixth Class of Phytohormones: A Molecular View from the Discovery to Hormonal Interactions in Plant Development and Stress Adaptation

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jan 15;20(2):331. doi: 10.3390/ijms20020331.


Phytohormones are natural chemical messengers that play critical roles in the regulation of plant growth and development as well as responses to biotic and abiotic stress factors, maintaining plant homeostasis, and allowing adaptation to environmental changes. The discovery of a new class of phytohormones, the brassinosteroids (BRs), almost 40 years ago opened a new era for the studies of plant growth and development and introduced new perspectives in the regulation of agronomic traits through their use in agriculture. BRs are a group of hormones with significant growth regulatory activity that act independently and in conjunction with other phytohormones to control different BR-regulated activities. Genetic and molecular research has increased our understanding of how BRs and their cross-talk with other phytohormones control several physiological and developmental processes. The present article provides an overview of BRs' discovery as well as recent findings on their interactions with other phytohormones at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels, in addition to clarifying how their network works to modulate plant growth, development, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses.

Keywords: brassinosteroids; hormonal cross-talk; plant hormones.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Brassinosteroids / chemistry
  • Brassinosteroids / metabolism*
  • Plant Development*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / chemistry
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological*


  • Brassinosteroids
  • Plant Growth Regulators