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Scientists Figure Out Plant Growth Mechanism Image 2
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Scientists Figure Out Plant Growth Mechanism (Image 2)

July 26, 2010
When a plant is not growing, auxin--a class of plant growth hormone--is not produced, and growth genes are repressed, or turned "off." But when conditions are favorable for growth, auxin is produced and binds to a molecule known as TIR1. The auxin-TIR1 complex in turn signals for the destruction of the repressor protein that keeps growth in check, and growth promoting genes are turned "on."

Researchers say this discovery represents an important advance in our understanding of fundamental biological processes, and could also have important applications in developing improved crops.