Auxin biosynthesis in maize.Plant Biol (Stuttg). 2006 May; 8(3):334-9.PB
For the biosynthesis of the phytohormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), a number of tryptophan-dependent and -independent pathways have been discussed. Maize is an appropriate model system to analyze IAA biosynthesis particularly because high quantities of IAA conjugates are stored in the endosperm. This allowed precursor feeding experiments in a kernel culture system followed by retrobiosynthetic NMR analysis, which strongly suggested that tryptophan-dependent IAA synthesis is the predominant route for auxin biosynthesis in the maize kernel. Two nitrilases ZmNIT1 and ZmNIT2 are expressed in seeds. ZmNIT2 efficiently hydrolyzes indole-3-acetonitrile (IAN) to IAA and thus could be involved in auxin biosynthesis. Redundant pathways, e.g., via indole-3-acetaldehyde could imply that multiple mutants will be necessary to obtain IAA-deficient plants and to conclusively identify relevant genes for IAA biosynthesis.