Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



New Phytologist (2022) 235: 263–275

doi: 10.1111/nph.18114


This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License,


Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) controls a plethora of developmental processes. Thus, regulation of its concentration is of great relevance for plant performance. Cellular IAA concentration depends on its transport, biosynthesis and the various pathways for IAA inactivation, including oxidation and conjugation.

Group II members of the GRETCHEN HAGEN 3 (GH3) gene family code for acyl acid amido synthetases catalysing the conjugation of IAA to amino acids. However, the high degree of functional redundancy among them has hampered thorough analysis of their roles in plant development.

In this work, we generated an Arabidopsis gh3.1,2,3,4,5,6,9,17 (gh3oct) mutant to knock out the group II GH3 pathway. The gh3oct plants had an elaborated root architecture, showed an increased tolerance to different osmotic stresses, including an IAA-dependent tolerance to salinity, and were more tolerant to water deficit. Indole-3-acetic acid metabolite quantification in gh3oct plants suggested the existence of additional GH3-like enzymes in IAA metabolism. Moreover, our data suggested that 2-oxindole-3-acetic acid production depends, at least in part, on the GH3 pathway. Targeted stress-hormone analysis further suggested involvement of abscisic acid in the differential response to salinity of gh3oct plants.

Taken together, our data provide new insights into the roles of group II GH3s in IAA metabolism and hormone-regulated plant development.