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Introduction

A little background info on Plant Hormones and this article's intentions.

Since at least Darwin’s time, it has been known that plants regulate their growth with some kind of internally secreted chemicals. Plant hormones, according to a standard definition from the Web

  • Are signal molecules produced at specific locations;

  • Occur in low concentrations;

  • Cause altered processes in target cells at other locations.

Today, it is accepted that there are five major classes of plant hormones, with a few possible candidates to add in the future. The five major classes are Auxin, CKs, Ethylene, GAs, and ABA. Recently it has been suggested that BRs, JAs, SAs, Oligosaccharins and Polyamines are new major classes of hormones. This paper is not an introduction to the discovery, chemical structure, and synthesis pathways of the hormones. There are several decent introductions to these on the Web (see here, here, and here). Instead, I shall try to provide a second-level examination of the hormones and a unifying outline of a theory that explains the underlying relationships and generalized principles under when these hormones are secreted.  This paper is a simplification of the findings. I want to warn any reader, that I have a strong preference for symmetry in theories and models. Inspired by the fact that plants show a strong physical symmetry, being divided into roots and shoots, my two theories will each be strongly symmetrical. 

Any theory of plant hormones needs to recognize the work of K. V. Thimann, F. Went, F. Abeles, F. Skoog, G. Avery, P. F. Wareing, P. Davies, P. W. Morgan, W. P. Jacobs, A. C. Leopold, A. W. Galston, R. Cleland, and F. Addicott. Forgive me for leaving out the names of countless others who have made major contributions to the field. Special thanks go to Mark Jacobs for getting me so interested in plants in the first place.