Opinion: Plant hormones: Key players in gut microbiota and human diseases?

Chanclud and Lacombe have written an intriguing Opinion article asking to what extent plant hormones affect animal gut microbiota and human disease. In support of this question, they observe that many microbes and even some animals can perceive and respond to plant hormones, or produce plant-hormone mimics. Consider for example salicylic acid, a plant hormone that in its native and acetylated form (aspirin) form has diverse effects in humans. Furthermore, studies have shown that ABA is synthesized in humans and affects glucose uptake, and that gibberellic acids (GAs) have anti-inflammatory properties by dampening the release of proinflammatory interleukins, and the auxin IAA has emerged as a promising agent in cancer therapy. These and other observations are discussed in this unusual thought-experiment. Trends Plant Sci. 10.1016/j.tplants.2017.07.003