From roots to shoots: decoding strigolactones in plant architecture and symbiosis

08 January, 2024

New insights into the activity of two members of a category of plant hormones called strigolactones have enhanced the fundamental understanding of the role of strigolactones and could also support making crop plants more resistant to parasitic plants.

Strigolactones comprise more than 35 relatively small organic molecules containing several linked rings of carbon atoms. They also include considerable structural diversity within two main categories, known as canonical (with a tricyclic structure) and noncanonical (without a tricyclic structure) forms. Strigolactones regulate many developmental processes that influence the architecture of plants. They also mediate the interactions between plants and mycorrhizal fungi, which is often a symbiotic relationship that benefits both the plants and the fungi.

However, the hormones can also attract and promote the invasion of root-parasitic plants, such as Striga, which can seriously reduce crop yields.

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