Occurrence, Function, and Biosynthesis of the Natural Auxin Phenylacetic Acid (PAA) in Plants

Plants (Basel). 2023 Jan 6;12(2):266. doi: 10.3390/plants12020266.


Auxins are a class of plant hormones playing crucial roles in a plant's growth, development, and stress responses. Phenylacetic acid (PAA) is a phenylalanine-derived natural auxin found widely in plants. Although the auxin activity of PAA in plants was identified several decades ago, PAA homeostasis and its function remain poorly understood, whereas indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), the most potent auxin, has been used for most auxin studies. Recent studies have revealed unique features of PAA distinctive from IAA, and the enzymes and intermediates of the PAA biosynthesis pathway have been identified. Here, we summarize the occurrence and function of PAA in plants and highlight the recent progress made in PAA homeostasis, emphasizing PAA biosynthesis and crosstalk between IAA and PAA homeostasis.

Keywords: PAA; auxins; growth hormone; phenylacetic acid.

Publication types

  • Review