A femtomolar-range suicide germination stimulant for the parasitic plant Striga hermonthica

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  • A femtomolar-range suicide germination stimulant for the parasitic plant <i>Striga hermonthica</i>

Abstract

The parasitic plant Striga hermonthica has been causing devastating damage to the crop production in Africa. Because Striga requires host-generated strigolactones to germinate, the identification of selective and potent strigolactone agonists could help control these noxious weeds. We developed a selective agonist, sphynolactone-7, a hybrid molecule originated from chemical screening, that contains two functional modules derived from a synthetic scaffold and a core component of strigolactones. Cooperative action of these modules in the activation of a high-affinity strigolactone receptor ShHTL7 allows sphynolactone-7 to provoke Striga germination with potency in the femtomolar range. We demonstrate that sphynolactone-7 is effective for reducing Striga parasitism without impinging on host strigolactone-related processes.

Journal

  • Science

    Science 362 (6420), 1301-1305, 2018-12-14

    American Association for the Advancement of Science

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