Plant Growth Regulators

Louise Ferguson and James E. Lessenger

Key words: plant hormones, auxins, gibberellins, cytokinins, ethylene, abscisic acid, phenolics alkaloids

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) were first discovered in plants at the beginning of the 20th century. An endogenous PGR is a plant hormone, in academic terms "an organic compound synthesized in one part of a plant and translocated to another part of a plant where, in very low concentrations, it causes a physiological response" in the plant. As knowledge and commercial use of PGRs grew, compounds formerly extracted could be synthesized. Thus PGRs are now both natural (extracted) and synthetic (synthesized) in origin. Even if a synthesized PGR is identical in structure to a hormone extracted from a plant, it is not considered a plant hormone (1).

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