Main content area

Auxin-like effects of the natural coumarin scopoletin on Arabidopsis cell structure and morphology

Graña, Elisa, Costas-Gil, Aitana, Longueira, Sabela, Celeiro, María, Teijeira, Marta, Reigosa, Manuel J., Sánchez-Moreiras, Adela M.
Journal of plant physiology 2017 v.218 pp. 45-55
2,4-D, Arabidopsis, abnormal development, auxins, cell death, cell walls, coumarin, mechanism of action, microtubules, mitochondrial membrane, phytotoxicity, roots, scopoletin
The mode of action and phytotoxic potential of scopoletin, a natural compound belonging to the group of coumarins, has been evaluated in detail. Analysis conducted by light and electron transmission microscopy showed strong cell and tissue abnormalities on treated roots, such as cell wall malformations, multi-nucleated cells, abnormal nuclei and tissue disorganization. Scopoletin compromised root development by inducing wrong microtubule assembling, mitochondrial membrane depolarization and ultimate cell death, in a way similar to auxin herbicides. The structural similarities of the natural compound scopoletin and the auxin herbicide 2,4-D, as well as the ability of scopoletin to fit into the auxin-binding site TIR1, were analyzed, suggesting that the phytotoxic activity of scopoletin matches with that exhibited by auxinic herbicides.