A New Formulation for Strigolactone Suicidal Germination Agents, towards Successful Striga Management

Muhammad Jamil, Jian You Wang, Djibril Yonli, Rohit H. Patil, Mohammed Riyazaddin, Prakash Gangashetty, Lamis Berqdar, Guan Ting Erica Chen, Hamidou Traore, Ouedraogo Margueritte, Binne Zwanenburg, Satish Ekanath Bhoge, Salim Al-Babili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Striga hermonthica, a member of the Orobanchaceae family, is an obligate root parasite of staple cereal crops, which poses a tremendous threat to food security, contributing to malnutrition and poverty in many African countries. Depleting Striga seed reservoirs from infested soils is one of the crucial approaches to minimize subterranean damage to crops. The dependency of Striga germination on the host-released strigolactones (SLs) has prompted the development of the “Suicidal Germination” strategy to reduce the accumulated seed bank of Striga. The success of aforementioned strategy depends not only on the activity of the applied SL analogs, but also requires suitable application protocol with simple, efficient, and handy formulation for rain-fed African agriculture. Here, we developed a new formulation “Emulsifiable Concentration (EC)” for the two previously field-assessed SL analogs Methyl phenlactonoate 3 (MP3) and Nijmegen-1. The new EC formulation was evaluated for biological activities under lab, greenhouse, mini-field, and field conditions in comparison to the previously used Atlas G-1086 formulation. The EC formulation of SL analogs showed better activities on Striga germination with lower EC50 and high stability under Lab conditions. Moreover, EC formulated SL analogs at 1.0 µM concentrations reduced 89–99% Striga emergence in greenhouse. The two EC formulated SL analogs showed also a considerable reduction in Striga emergence in mini-field and field experiments. In conclusion, we have successfully developed a desired formulation for applying SL analogs as suicidal agents for large-scale field application. The encouraging results presented in this study pave the way for integrating the suicidal germination approach in sustainable Striga management strategies for African agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number808
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Conflicts of Interest: We are providing financial support to UPL company from our project funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. There is not any conflict of interest with UPL company.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (grant number OPP1136424 to S.A.), and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia. We are grateful to Abdel Gabar Babiker, The National Research Center, Sudan; Steven Runo, Kenyatta University, Kenya for Striga seeds; We are thankful to Jonne Rodenburg, Africa Rice, Tanzania for providing seeds of rice IAC-165.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Methyl phenlactonoate
  • Seedbank
  • Striga hermonthica
  • Strigolactone analogs
  • Suicidal germination
  • Witch weeds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science


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