Understanding Hormone Co-Factors

Understanding Hormone Co-Factors and the Role they Play in Maintaining Hormone Balance

There are numerous chemicals and chemical systems involved in plant function. Chemicals will either have a specific function or a variety of functions to perform , in order for a plant to function optimally.

Plant hormone co-factors refer to agents that primarily assist enzymes during the catalysis of reactions. Enzyemes typically accelerate the rate of reactions; however enzymes too could use a little extra help to promote optimum functionality. Help comes in the for of hormone Co-Factors, and may be a single element, a molecule or moiety. When a co-factor and target enzyme unite, the result is a new ‘complex’ which interacts more readily with other elements and/or molecules, thereby by promoting hormone balance.

Hormone Co-Factors

Role in Maintaining Hormone Balance

Amine Nitrogen (NH3) Assists in maintaining controlled shoot growth through providing a plant-useable form of nitrogen, increased sugar and energy efficiency.
Boron Assists in strengthening cell walls thereby reducing oxidative breakdown of auxin. This increases the amount of auxin present as well as its effects, which may include improved movement of sugars into harvestable fruiting parts.
Calcium Is an important component of the cell wall of the plant (strengthens the cell wall as it strengthens our bones) and involved in various hormone signalling pathways.  Plays a large role in the transport of auxin which allows an increase in the resistance of diseases. Lack of calcium will result in lack of sugars in harvestable fruit as it helps the sugars from the mother plant to move into the fruits parts.
Cobalt Inhibit binding of some components in the ethylene biosynthetic enzyme which lowers the production of ethylene in the plant.
Copper For the plant to respond to the changing levels of ethylene, an ethylene receptor is required. Copper is a key component of this receptor and controls the ripening of fruits and maintains the hormone balance within the plant. Copper is also required for the conversion of Nitrogen to protein and amino acids.
Magnesium Magnesium forms the ‘backbone’ of chlorophyll, which is required for photosynthesis. It is required to pump nutrients to the roots of a plant thereby playing a major role in the development and growth of the plant. Magnesium also plays a part in the synthesis of a large number of enzymes.
Manganese Various systems within plants are dependent on manganese for optimum growth. It is required for the efficient utilization of energy, transfer of electrons during photosynthesis and it plays a role in the metabolism of nitrogen and auxins.
Molybdenum Legumes, in particular, require adequate amounts of molybdenum as it aids in optimizing nitrogen fixation and the role the symbiotic nitrogen fixating bacteria play in this process. Molybdenum holds anti-oxidant properties as well as forms part of enzymes which function in the biosynthesis of auxins and Abscisic acid (ABA).
Nitrate Nitrogen (NO3) Cytokinin production is triggered at the root tips which results in the cells to expand. NO3 is also essential for shoot growth.
Phosphorus Hormones required for healthy root growth are regulated by phosphorus. It also aids in optimizing energy transfer and the movement of sugars. Plants are more resistant to disease is sufficient phosphorous is present.
Potassium The production of appropriate hormones for cell expansion requires potassium. It is essential to regulate sugar transport and uptake of sufficient quantities of water.
Zinc Zinc plays a fundamental role in various plant processes,such as auxin production, genetic expression, integrity of cell membrane and the transfer of energy.

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