Polar auxin transport: models and mechanisms

K. van Berkel, R.J. de Boer, B. Scheres, K. ten Tusscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Spatial patterns of the hormone auxin are important drivers of plant development. The observed feedback between the active, directed transport that generates auxin patterns and the auxin distribution that influences transport orientation has rendered this a popular subject for modelling studies. Here we propose a new mathematical framework for the analysis of polar auxin transport and present a detailed mathematical analysis of published models. We show that most models allow for self-organised patterning for similar biological assumptions, and find that the pattern generated is typically unidirectional, unless additional assumptions or mechanisms are incorporated. Our analysis thus suggests that current models cannot explain the bidirectional fountain-type patterns found in plant meristems in a fully self-organised manner, and we discuss future research directions to address the gaps in our understanding of auxin transport mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2253-2268
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • pattern-formation
  • plant development
  • pin proteins
  • arabidopsis
  • efflux
  • phyllotaxis
  • root
  • canalization
  • endocytosis
  • growth

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