4 years ago

Chemical genetics and strigolactone perception [version 1; referees: 2 approved]

Peter McCourt, Michael Bunsick, Shelley Lumba
Strigolactones (SLs) are a collection of related small molecules that act as hormones in plant growth and development. Intriguingly, SLs also act as ecological communicators between plants and mycorrhizal fungi and between host plants and a collection of parasitic plant species. In the case of mycorrhizal fungi, SLs exude into the soil from host roots to attract fungal hyphae for a beneficial interaction. In the case of parasitic plants, however, root-exuded SLs cause dormant parasitic plant seeds to germinate, thereby allowing the resulting seedling to infect the host and withdraw nutrients. Because a laboratory-friendly model does not exist for parasitic plants, researchers are currently using information gleaned from model plants like Arabidopsis in combination with the chemical probes developed through chemical genetics to understand SL perception of parasitic plants. This work first shows that understanding SL signaling is useful in developing chemical probes that perturb SL perception. Second, it indicates that the chemical space available to probe SL signaling in both model and parasitic plants is sizeable. Because these parasitic pests represent a major concern for food insecurity in the developing world, there is great need for chemical approaches to uncover novel lead compounds that perturb parasitic plant infections.

Publisher URL: https://f1000research.com/articles/6-975/v1

DOI: 10.12688/f1000research.11379.1

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