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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2585;

Auxin Information Processing; Partners and Interactions beyond the Usual Suspects

Theoretical Biology, Department of Biology, Utrecht University, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 24 November 2017 / Published: 1 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Auxin)
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Auxin plays a major role in a variety of processes involved in plant developmental patterning and its adaptation to environmental conditions. Therefore, an important question is how specificity in auxin signalling is achieved, that is, how a single signalling molecule can carry so many different types of information. In recent years, many studies on auxin specificity have been published, unravelling increasingly more details on differential auxin sensitivity, expression domains and downstream partners of the auxin receptors (transport inhibitor response 1 (TIR1) and other auxin signaling F-box proteins (AFB)), transcriptional repressors that are degraded in response to auxin (AUX/IAA) and downstream auxin response factors (ARF) that together constitute the plant’s major auxin response pathways. These data are critical to explain how, in the same cells, different auxin levels may trigger different responses, as well as how in different spatial or temporal contexts similar auxin signals converge to different responses. However, these insights do not yet answer more complex questions regarding auxin specificity. As an example, they leave open the question of how similar sized auxin changes at similar locations result in different responses depending on the duration and spatial extent of the fluctuation in auxin levels. Similarly, it leaves unanswered how, in the case of certain tropisms, small differences in signal strength at both sides of a plant organ are converted into an instructive auxin asymmetry that enables a robust tropic response. Finally, it does not explain how, in certain cases, substantially different auxin levels become translated into similar cellular responses, while in other cases similar auxin levels, even when combined with similar auxin response machinery, may trigger different responses. In this review, we illustrate how considering the regulatory networks and contexts in which auxin signalling takes place helps answer these types of fundamental questions. View Full-Text
Keywords: auxin; information processing; specificity; modeling; regulatory networks auxin; information processing; specificity; modeling; regulatory networks

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Van den Berg, T.; Ten Tusscher, K.H. Auxin Information Processing; Partners and Interactions beyond the Usual Suspects. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2585.

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