From Carotenoids to Strigolactones

Kunpeng Jia, Lina Baz, Salim Al-Babili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Strigolactones (SLs) are phytohormones that regulate different plant developmental and adaptation processes. When released into soil, SLs act as chemical signals attracting symbiotic arbuscular fungi and inducing seed germination in root parasitic weeds. SLs are carotenoid-derivatives characterized by the presence of a butenolide ring that is connected by an enol ether bridge to a less conserved, second moiety. Carotenoids are isopenoid pigments that differ in structure, number of conjugated double bonds and stereo-configuration. Genetic analysis and enzymatic studies demonstrate that SLs originate from all-trans-β-carotene in a pathway that involves the all-trans-/9-cis-β-carotene isomerase DWARF27 (D27) and the carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 7 and 8 (CCD7, 8). The CCD7-mediated, regio- and stereospecific double bond cleavage of 9-cis-β-carotene leads to a 9-cis-configured intermediate that is converted by CCD8 via a combination of reactions into the central metabolite carlactone. By catalyzing repeated oxygenation reactions that can be coupled to ring closure, CYP711 enzymes convert carlactone into tricyclic ring containing, canonical and non-canonical SLs. Mostly unknown, modifying enzymes further increase SLs diversity. In this review, we touch on carotenogenesis, provide an update on SL biosynthesis, with emphasis on the substrate specificity and reactions catalyzed by the different enzymes, and describe the regulation of the pathway.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2189-2204
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 14 2017

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