The literature is full of different techniques and approaches to the isolation, purification and quantitative analysis of plant hormones. From this body of literature it is possible to deduce that 1) a lot of investigators are interested in how much of these compounds are in plants and 2) that the techniques for phytohormone analysis are still largely “under development”. This talk will discuss different approaches to hormone analysis, suitability of each approach, and criteria for the evaluation of techniques and results. The goal will be to highlight points that are important to obtaining reliable analytical information and knowing what to do when problems occur. Nevertheless, having reliable numbers is frequently only the first step in understanding hormonal systems involved in plant development, It is often the case that the expected results are not what is found in experiments involving plant hormone quantitation. We will consider experimental design, tissue localization, developmental stages, sampling and extraction procedures, and the limits of what to expect when “dogma confronts reality”. Work reported was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation DCB-8917378, USDA-CRGO 89-3721-4734, US-Israel BARD US-1362-87, and by funds from the USDA Argicultural Research Service,
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