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The action of the plant growth hormone

Bonner, James (1933) The action of the plant growth hormone. Journal of General Physiology, 17 (1). pp. 63-76. ISSN 0022-1295. PMCID PMC2141261. doi:10.1085/jgp.17.1.63.

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Although the control of cell elongation in plant tissues by a special growth-promoting substance or substances has been well established for some time, the processes by which this substance is able to bring about growth have remained obscure. Since the general properties of the response to growth substance by plant tissues, in particular of the Arena coleoptiles which have been most extensively studied, have been recently summarized by Thimann and Bonner (1933), only the principal points of interest for the present discussion need be given. These are briefly as follows: (a) The growth-promoting substance of the Avena coleoptile is produced only in the coleoptile tip and passes from there downward (Went, 1928). After removal of the tip new growth substance is formed by the uppermost cells of the stump ("physiological regeneration," Dolk, 1926). (b) The growth of the Avena coleoptile is for some time proportional to the amount of growth substance supplied to it (Thimann and Bonner, 1933). (c) The growth substance which enters the plant and causes growth cannot be recovered; i.e., is used up (Went, 1928). (d) Growth substance is an unsaturated acid of empirical formula C18H32O5 (Kögl, Haagen-Smit and Erxleben, 1933) and readily loses its growth-promoting activity by oxidation. (e) The growth substance is a true hormone, i.e., it acts in minute amounts and bears no direct stoichiometrical relationship to the number of molecules of soluble substance transformed during growth into, for example, cell walls. Thus one molecule of growth substance causes an amount of growth of the Avena coleoptile at 27°C. which requires the changing of 3 X 10^5 molecules of hexose to cellulose in cell walls (Thimann and Bonner, 1933). The changes in the physical properties of coleoptiles under the influence of growth substance have been studied to some extent. Heyn (1931), and independently, Söding (1931, 1932) have shown that the plasticity, and also to a considerable extent the elasticity, of the coleoptile is increased after action of growth substance, and that this increase is independent of whether growth has occurred or not; i.e., this action of growth substance is preliminary to active elongation. Heyn also found an increase in extensibility in coleoptiles which had been plasmolyzed after growth substance action, so that it is the physical properties of the cell wall, and not of the protoplasm, which are changed. The action of growth substance has now been further studied, and a few of the results will be described in the present paper. This study has been made easier by discovery of the fact that short sections of coleoptiles grow at a rapid rate if immersed in a growth substance solution of suitable concentration. This method of using coleoptiles is convenient because, under proper conditions, a large amount of growth takes place in a relatively short time, and the "physiological regeneration" mentioned in (a) occurs slightly or not at all. It has the added advantage that the effect of known concentrations of growth substance upon the growth of younger and older portions of the same coleoptile may be examined independently.

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Additional Information:© 1933 by The Rockefeller University Press (Accepted for publication, June 1, 1933)
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC2141261
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BONjgp33
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4427
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:22 Aug 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 20:17

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