Effect of the strigolactone analogs methyl phenlactonoates on spore germination and root colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi

Boubacar Amadou Kountche, Mara Novero, Muhammad Jamil, Tadao Asami, Paola Bonfante, Salim Al-Babili

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19 Scopus citations


Strigolactones (SLs), a novel class of plant hormones, are key regulator of plant architecture and mediator of biotic interactions in the rhizosphere. Root-released SLs initiate the establishment of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis by inducing spore germination and hyphal branching in AM fungi (AMF). However, these compounds also trigger the germination of root parasitic weeds, paving the way for deleterious infestation. Availability of SLs is required for investigating of their functions and also for application in agriculture. However, natural SLs are difficult to synthesize due to their complex structure and cannot be isolated at large scale, as they are released at very low concentrations. Therefore, there is a need for synthetic SL analogs. Recently, we reported on the development of simple SL analogs, methyl phenlactonoates (MPs), which show high SL activity in plants. Here, we investigate the effect of MP1, MP3 and the widely used SL-analog GR24 on AMF spore germination and host root colonization. Our results show that MP1 and MP3 inhibit AMF spore germination, but promote the intra-radical root colonization, both more efficiently than GR24. These results indicate that field application of MP1 and MP3 does not have negative impact on mycorrhizal fungi. In conclusion, our data together with the previously reported simple synthesis, high activity in regulating plant architecture and inducing Striga seed germination, demonstrate the utility of MP1 and MP3 as for field application in combating root parasitic weeds by inducing germination in host's absence.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e00936
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 22 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This work was supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA [grant number OPP1136424] given to Prof. Salim Al-Babili and by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).


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