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Abscisic Acid Role in Plant Branching
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: April 25, 2017 04:31PM

Plant branching is a process regulated by phytohormones produced by the
plant, similar to hormones found in animals. Many scientists have believed
that auxin, the most intensely studied plant phytohormone, is the most
important factor that controls branching. Researchers at Texas A&M
University have found that abscisic acid (ABA), more known for its role in
regulating water movement in plants, also plays an important role in plant

Branching is controlled by light signals modified by neighboring plants. The
stem grows taller if the branches are inhibited. The plant invests in the
main shoot rather than in branching, to get to more direct light. The study
examined plant mechanisms used to control branching in crowded and uncrowded

The researchers found that when given light signals that mimic crowded and
uncrowded conditions, bud growth is altered very quickly, within six hours,
when light signals are changed. They also found that changes in bud growth
were more closely related to changes in ABA than auxin. ABA is one of the
earliest regulators of branching. Auxin regulates from the stem, but ABA is
present in the bud and is probably responding more directly to light signals
that it receives.


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