Journal Article

Strigolactones as Germination Stimulants for Root Parasitic Plants

Koichi Yoneyama, Ayman A. Awad, Xiaonan Xie, Kaori Yoneyama and Yasutomo Takeuchi

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 51, issue 7, pages 1095-1103
Published in print July 2010 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:

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  • Biochemistry
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  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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Witchweeds (Striga spp.) and broomrapes (Orobanche and Phelipanche spp.) are the two most devastating root parasitic plants belonging to the family Orobanchaceae and are causing enormous crop losses throughout the world. Seeds of these root parasites will not germinate unless they are exposed to chemical stimuli, ‘germination stimulants’ produced by and released from plant roots. Most of the germination stimulants identified so far are strigolactones (SLs), which also function as host recognition signals for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and a novel class of plant hormones inhibiting shoot branching. In this review, we focus on SLs as germination stimulants for root parasitic plants. In addition, we discuss how quantitative and qualitative differences in SL exudation among sorghum cultivars influence their susceptibility to Striga.

Keywords: Germination stimulant; Orobanche; Phelipanche; Root parasitic plants; Striga; Strigolactone

Journal Article.  4859 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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