Branching is one of the most striking aspects of land plant architecture, affecting resource acquisition and yield. Polar auxin transport by PIN proteins is a primary determinant of flowering plant branching patterns regulating both branch initiation and branch outgrowth. Several lines of experimental evidence suggest that PIN-mediated polar auxin transport is a conserved regulator of branching in vascular plant sporophytes. However, the mechanisms of branching and auxin transport and relationships between the two are not well known outside the flowering plants and the paradigm for PIN-regulated branching in flowering plants does not fit bryophyte gametophytes. The evidence reviewed here suggests that divergent auxin transport routes contributed to the diversification of branching forms in distinct land plant lineages.
- land plant evolution
- auxin transport