Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Robert C. Nagler

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Harmon

Third Advisor

Dr. Lillian Meyer

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access



Derivatives of phenoxyacetic acid (PAA), because of their activity as synthetic auxins, have long been of interest in the botanical sciences. PAA itself was noted (29) to have some auxin activity. However, real interest in PAA derivatives awaited the establishment of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) as a powerful, selective herbicide (12). An enormous number of PAA analogs and homologs have been investigated for their potential in the herbicide industry, and the statistical evidence from these investigations has been used as the basis for several interesting and sometimes conflicting theories of auxin mechanisms (17, 26, 23, 27).

Physiological effects of PAA derivatives on animals have been observed, but, as in the case with plants, the exact nature of these effects and the chemical reactions causing them are not known. Various PAA derivatives uncouple oxidative phosphorylation (4, 28), lower serum protein bound iodine (9), reduce the permeability of peritoneal blood vessels (19), inhibit lactic dehydrogenase (20) and produce local anesthetic effects (15). Whether any PAA derivatives have value as anti-tumor agents has yet to be proved. Indeed, Bucher (5) has found, in experiments with several types of animals, that 2,4-D neither causes tumors nor has any effect on tumor growth rates.

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Chemistry Commons