April 18, 2016
I’m a hormone—but for plants, not people.
What molecule am I?
Image of 6-Benzyladenine 3D Image of 6-Benzyladenine

6-Benzyladenine, also called 6-benzylaminopurine, is a synthetic cytokinin that stimulates cell division in plants. Among other actions, it spurs plant growth, sets blossoms, and improves fruit quality.

Cytokinins are in the plant growth hormone family. As part of his pioneering research in plant growth regulators, plant physiologist Folke K. Skoog at the University of Wisconsin–Madison synthesized 6-benzyladenine and demonstrated its efficacy.

In a recent C&EN “Periodic Graphics” page, author Andy Brunning included 6-benzyladenine in a roundup of how “flower food” helps to preserve cut flowers. He notes that the growth regulator’s contribution to preservation is maintaining petal colors. 6-Benzyladenine is similarly used to extend the shelf lives of broccoli florets and shredded cabbage to make them more attractive to customers.

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