Biotech Updates

Purdue Scientist Develop Less Toxic Plant Growth Inhibitors

March 4, 2011

Purdue University scientist Angus Murphy and colleagues have developed a new class of enhanced plant growth regulators that are expected to be less toxic to humans. According to Murphy, the role of growth inhibitors is to hinder the transport of plant hormone auxin which controls growth processes. Current growth regulators available are inefficient and are often toxic. Growth inhibitors are important in crops that require labor-intensive manipulation and pruning.

"These regulators would be used primarily on ornamental plants, flowers, and trees that aren't going to be genetically changed easily," Murphy said. "Growth regulators are used regularly on this type of plant. Inhibition of auxin transport with these new compounds is also an alternative to the use of more toxic regulators like 2,4-D."

The newly-developed growth inhibitors are derived from natural and artificial auxins and look like auxin but do not have any hormonal activity.

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