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Plant Hormones

September 13, 2017

Our gut microbes may respond to hormones in the plants we eat.


fruits and vegetables. pexels-photo-264537 (1)

Plants contain hormones. (Pexels/Public Domain)


Plant hormones and human health. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Like animals, plants produce hormones to regulate growth, immune function and reproduction. But plant biologist Emilie Chanclud at the Sainsbury Laboratory in the United Kingdom says ancient microbes may have produced some of these hormones before plants existed.

EMILIE CHANCLUD (Sainsbury Laboratory):

If we think about the evolution point of view, these molecules might have been acquired before the evolution of plants.


Today, trillions of microbes live in our gut and affect our immune systems, blood sugar levels and even our mood. In the journal Trends in Plant Science, Chanclud and her colleagues suggest that when we eat fruits and veggies, the hormones in those plants may trigger changes to our microbes which, in turn, affect us. The researchers say studying this complex interaction could reveal new ways to control disease and promote good health by eating the right plants.  I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon and Kyle Frischkorn