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A vascular plant begins from a single celled zygote, formed by fertilisation of an egg cell by a
sperm cell. From that point, it begins to divide to form a plant embryo through the process
of embryogenesis. As this happens, the resulting cells will organize so that one end becomes the
first root while the other end forms the tip of the shoot. In seed plants, the embryo will develop
one or more "seed leaves" (cotyledons). By the end of embryogenesis, the young plant will have
all the parts necessary to begin in its life.

Once the embryo germinates from its seed or parent plant, it begins to produce additional organs
(leaves, stems, and roots) through the process of organogenesis. New roots grow from
root meristems located at the tip of the root, and new stems and leaves grow from
shoot meristems located at the tip of the shoot.[3] Branching occurs when small clumps of cells
left behind by the meristem, and which have not yet undergone cellular differentiation to form a
specialized tissue, begin to grow as the tip of a new root or shoot. Growth from any such
meristem at the tip of a root or shoot is termed primary growth and results in the lengthening of
that root or shoot. Secondary growth results in widening of a root or shoot from divisions of cells
in a cambium.[4]

In addition to growth by cell division, a plant may grow through cell elongation. This occurs
when individual cells or groups of cells grow longer. Not all plant cells grow to the same length.
When cells on one side of a stem grow longer and faster than cells on the other side, the stem
bends to the side of the slower growing cells as a result. This directional growth can occur via a
plant's response to a particular stimulus, such as light (phototropism), gravity (gravitropism),
water, (hydrotropism), and physical contact (thigmotropism).


Plant growth and development are mediated by specific plant hormones and plant growth
regulators (PGRs) (Ross et al. 1983).[5] Endogenous hormone levels are influenced by plant age,
cold hardiness, dormancy, and other metabolic conditions; photoperiod, drought, temperature,
and other external environmental conditions; and exogenous sources of PGRs, e.g., externally
applied and of rhizospheric origin.
Plant growth regulatorsinclude both natural and synthetic plant harmones, but also include non
nutrient chemicals not found naturally in plants when applied to plants, influence their growth
and development.

The two groups of plant growth regulating compounds are:

1. Natural found naturally in plants.

2. Synthetic- human made

Both natural and synthetic groups regulate:

1. Cell division

2. Cell differentiation

3. Root and shoot growth

4. Senescence ( plant ageing)

Synthetic plant growth regulators:

1. Naphthalene acetic acid ( NAA )

2. Dichlorophenoxy acetic acid ( 2-4D )

3. Indobutyric acid (IBA )

The regulation of animal cells is largely based upon macromolecular effectors like peptide
hormones, etc. The production of synthetic compounds has not yet proceeded further, though the
strengthening of genetic engineering shows possibilities to yield peptide hormones (like
somatostatin, growth hormone or insulin) in larger amounts. The situation is different with
phytohormones. Their chemical structures shown before are rather easy, and the synthesis of
analogous substances is no larger problem for chemists.

The biosynthesis of phytohormones is in many regards interesting. On one hand is the effect of a
hormone, its reaction kinetics (dose-effect-curve), its catabolic and anabolic pathways in the
plant cell, as well as species-specific and developmentally specific differences of interest. On the
other hand is the use of phytohormones or their analogous substances an economic factor that
can be outlined by the following headwords:

harvesting aids, and
the synchronization of maturation and its temporal control.

In order to solve the existing problems are either synthetic components simulating the effects of
phytohormones used, or inhibitors of the biosynthesis of phytohormones are taken to generate a
lack of hormones in the cells. In agriculture and forestry are herbicides used to stop the growth of
unwanted plants like the presence of yield-reducing weeds.

2,4- dichlorophenoxy acetic acid:

Auxin derivatives like 2,4-dichlorphenoxy acidic acid (2,4-D) or 2,4,5-trichlorphenoxy acidic

acid (2,4,5-T) proved to be herbicides effecting selectively dicots.

Although the knowledge about the selectivity and the mode of action of these substances is still
very limited, do they belong to the most commonly used herbicides effecting preferably dicots.
2,4-D increases the rate of DNA, RNA and protein synthesis and impedes thus an outbalanced,
controlled growth. The plant does actually grow to death. The phenotype of a thus treated plant is
characterized by the abnormal growth of the deformed shoots, a breakdown of chlorophyll
(bleaching), the dying of the roots and several more features. 2,4,5-T has shown to be especially
toxic for perennial wooden plants and is therefore most often used in forestry. Its is less easily
degraded than 2,4-D. Auxin, in comparison, is very easily degraded and is consequently of no
use as a herbicide. 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (usually called 2,4-D) is an organic
compound with the chemical formula C8H6Cl2O3. It is a systemic herbicide which selectively
kills most broadleaf weeds by causing uncontrolled growth in them, but leaves most grasses such
as cereals, lawn turf, and grassland relatively unaffected.

2,4-D is one of the oldest and most widely available herbicides in the world, having been
commercially available since 1945, and is now produced by many chemical companies since the
patent on it has long since expired. It can be found in numerous commercial lawn herbicide
mixtures, and is widely used as a weedkiller on cereal crops, pastures, and orchards. Over 1,500
herbicide products contain 2,4-D as an active ingredient.

Mode of action:

2,4-D is a synthetic auxin, which is a class of plant hormones. It is absorbed through the leaves
and is translocated to the meristems of the plant. Uncontrolled, unsustainable growth ensues,
causing stem curl-over, leaf withering, and eventual plant death. 2,4-D is typically applied as
an amine salt, but more potent ester versions exist, as well.


2,4-D is a member of the phenoxy family of herbicides.[8]

2,4-D is manufactured from chloroacetic acid and 2,4-dichlorophenol, which is itself produced
by chlorination of phenol. Alternatively, it may be produced by the chlorination of
phenoxyacetic acid. The production processes create several contaminants including di-, tri-,
and tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin isomers and N-nitrosamines, as well as monochlorophenol.[49]


Gibberellin (GA3) is the only phytohormone that is still applied in horticulture. It is used for the
cultivation of seedless grapes in Californian viniculture where it increases the size of the grapes
two to three times. No such success could be yielded with seed-containing grapes.
Gibberellin is also applied to some citrus fruits for the improvement of the fruit setting as well as
for a delay of maturation (storage advantage).

In practice are also compounds used that set free ethylene after spraying them on the fruits. Best
known is chlorethylphosphoric acid sold under the name Ethrel, Ethephon or CEPA. It is
required for:

the quickening of tomato maturation where it causes a simultaneous synchronization of


for easing the cherry harvest (speeds up maturation), synchronization, easier picking
because of an enhanced development of the separating walls, and

for the stimulation of latex flow in HeveaHevea (increased flow per cut).

A number of substances like, for example, chlorcholinchlorid (CCC) inhibits elongation even at
low concentrations. Spraying of cereal seedlings with CCC causes thickening of the culm and
thus an enhanced stability.


A further class of growth regulators applied in the cultivation of ornamental plants are
the morphactines that do not only inhibit elongation but stop in addition the apical dominance
altering the shape of the plant drastically due to the development of numerous lateral shoots that
cause a bushy look. Furthermore are geotropism and phototropism influenced as well as the
development of carpels and stamina. Morphactines obstruct the mitotic activity of meristematic
tissues and do thus change the orientation of the mitotic spindle thus inhibiting the usually
strictly followed polarity typical for plants. This disturbance is caused by a far-reaching,
morphactine-induced stop of auxin transport. The effects of morophactine are normally
Naphthalene acetic acid:

In apple, naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) is used to reduce excessive fruit set, which would
otherwise result in many small fruit, and for some varieties, inhibit flower bud production for the
following season's crop. Maleic hydrazide (1,2-dihydro-3,6-pyradazinedione) is used in tobacco
to inhibit the growth of lateral buds, which would otherwise reduce leaf quality. For both cases-
fruit thinning in apple and sucker control in tobacco-a laborintensive cultural practice can be
accomplished efficiently with PGRs. In most of the examples described above, PGRs are useful
because they can in some way modify plant development. This may occur by interfering with the
biosynthesis, metabolism, or translocation of plant hormones, or PORs may replace or
supplement plant hormones when their endogenous levels are below that needed to change the
course of plant development. The plant growth retardants such as chlormequat chloride and
ancymidol (a-cyclopropyl-a( 4-methoxypheny 1)-5-pyrimidinemethanol), which are used to
control internode elongation in lily, pointsettia, and other floricultural crops, act by inhibiting
gibberellin biosynthesis. Ethephon, on the other hand, accelerates ripening and abscission by
releasing ethylene at a time when endogenous levels of this hormone are low. Other compounds
may more directly affect plant metabolism, circumventing the hormonal control system. For
example, lateral bud development can be prevented in tobacco by inhibiting cell division with
maleic hydroxide 6.

1-Naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA) is an organic compound with the formula C10H7CH2CO2H.

This colorless solid is soluble in organic solvents. It features a carboxylmethyl group
(CH2CO2H) linked to the "1-position" of naphthalene.
NAA is a synthetic plant hormone in the auxin family and is an ingredient in many
commercial plant rooting horticultural products; it is a rooting agent and used for the vegetative
propagation of plants from stem and leaf cutting. It is also used for plant tissue culture.[2]

The hormone NAA does not occur naturally, and, like all auxins, is toxic to plants at high
concentrations. In the United States, under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide
Act (FIFRA), products containing NAA require registration with the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) as pesticides.

Use and analysis:

NAA is widely used in agriculture for various purposes. It is considered to be only slightly toxic
but when at higher concentrations it can be toxic to animals. This was shown when tested on rats
via oral ingestion at 10005900 mg/kg.[3] NAA has been shown to greatly increase cellulose
fiber formation in plants when paired with another phytohormone called gibberellic acid.
Because it is in the auxin family it has also been understood to prevent premature dropping and
thinning of fruits from stems. It is applied after blossom fertilization. Increased amounts of it can
actually have negative effects however, and cause growth inhibition to the development of plant
crops. It has been used on many different crops including apples, olives, oranges, potatoes, and
various other hanging fruits. In order for it to obtain its desired effects it must be applied in
concentrations ranging from 20100 g/mL.[4] NAA present in the environment undergoes
oxidation reactions with hydroxyl radicals and sulphate radicals. Radical reactions of NAA was
studied by using pulse radiolysis technique. Hydroxyl adduct radical was formed as the
intermediate during the reaction of hydroxyl radical with NAA. The intermediate Naphtyl methyl
radical was formed during the reaction of sulphate radical anion with NAA.[5]

In micro propagation of various plants NAA is typically added to a media containing nutrients
essential to the plants survival. It is added to help induce root formation in various plant types. It
can also be applied by spraying it onto plants and which is typical in agricultural use. It is
prohibited in many areas to use it in high concentrations due to the health concerns towards
humans and other animals.

NAA can be detected by HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS).[]

Indole -3-butyric acid:

Indole-3-butyric acid (1H-Indole-3-butanoic acid, IBA) is a white to light-yellow crystalline

solid, with the molecular formula C12H13NO2. It melts at 125 C in atmospheric pressure and
decomposes before boiling. IBA is a plant hormone in the auxin family and is an ingredient in
many commercial horticultural plant rooting products.

Plant hormone:

Since IBA is not soluble in water, it is typically dissolved in 75% or purer alcohol for use in
plant rooting, making a solution of between 10,000 and 50,000 ppm. This alcohol solution is
then diluted with distilled water to the desired concentration. IBA is also available as a salt,
which is soluble in water. The solution should be kept in a cool, dark place for best results.

This compound had been thought to be strictly synthetic; however, it was reported that the
compound was isolated from leaves and seeds of maize and other species. In maize IBA has been
shown to be synthesized in vivo using IAA and other compounds as precursors.[1] This chemical
may also be extracted from any of the Salix (Willow) genus.[2]

Plant tissue culture:

In plant tissue culture IBA and other auxins are used to initiate root formation in vitro in a
procedure called micropropagation. Micropropagation of plants is the process of using small
samples of plants called explants and causing them to undergo growth of differentiated or
undifferentiated cells. In connection with cytokinins like kinetin, auxins like IBA can be used to
cause the formation of masses of undifferentiated cells called callus. Callus formation is often
used as a first step process in micropropagation where the callus cells are then caused to form
other tissues such as roots by exposing them to certain hormones like auxins that produce roots.
The process of callus to root formation is called indirect organogenesis whereas if roots are
formed from the explant directly it is called direct organogenesis.[3]

In a study of Camellia sinensis the effect of three different auxins, IBA, IAA and NAA were
examined to determine the relative effect of each auxin on root formation. According to the
result for the species IBA was shown to produce a higher yield of roots compared to the other
auxins.[4] The effect of IBA is in concurrence with other studies where IBA is the most
commonly used auxin for root formation.


Although the exact method of how IBA works is still largely unknown, genetic evidence has
been found that suggests that IBA may be converted into IAA through a similar process to -
oxidation of fatty acids. The conversion of IBA to IAA then suggests that IBA works as a storage
sink for IAA in plants.[6] There is other evidence that suggests that IBA is not converted to IAA
but acts as an auxin on its own.[7]