Stem slices (1-mm thick) cut from apple microshoots were cultured on a modified Murashige-Skoog medium with indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) or α-naphthaleneacetic acid (NAA), and increasing concentrations of various phenolic compounds. Both auxins were added at a concentration suboptimal for rooting. Indole-3-acetic acid is metabolized through oxidation and conjugation but NAA through conjugation only; which might have affected the results. With IAA, all tested orthodiphenols, paradiphenols and triphenols promoted adventitious root formation from the stem slices. Ferulic acid (FA, a methylated orthodiphenol) had the largest effect and increased the number of adventitious roots from 0.9 to 5.8. With NAA there was little or no promotion after addition of phenolics. Phloroglucinol (a triphenol) and FA were examined in detail. Their effects on the dose–response curve of IAA and the timing of their action indicated that both acted as antioxidants protecting IAA from decarboxylation and the tissue from oxidative stress. Experiments with carboxyl-labelled IAA showed that IAA was massively decarboxylated by the slices and that decarboxylation was strongly reduced by phenolics. Decarboxylation was to a great extent attributable to the wound response and did not occur to such an extent in non-wounded plant tissues. In shoots, FA promoted little rooting. Slices were cultured on top of the medium and shoots were stuck into the medium. Possibly, the anaerobic conditions in the medium near the basal part of the stem of shoots reduced the wound response and consequently decarboxylation of IAA. The monophenolic compound salicylic acid (SA) promoted IAA decarboxylation. Accordingly, SA reduced rooting when added during the initial days of the rooting process (the period during which auxin enhances rooting), and promoted outgrowth of root primordia later on (the period during which auxin inhibits rooting).
de Klerk, G. J. M., Guan, H., Huisman, P., & Marinova, S. (2011). Effects of phenolic compounds on adventitious root formation and oxidative decarboxylation of applied indoleacetic acid in Malus 'Jork 9'. Plant Growth Regulation, 63(2), 175-185. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10725-010-9555-9